Ichthyological Research

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 323–327 | Cite as

Egg capsules of the yellownose skate Zearaja chilensis (Guichenot 1848) and the roughskin skate Dipturus trachyderma (Krefft and Stehmann 1974) (Rajiformes: Rajidae) from the south-eastern Pacific Ocean

  • Francisco Concha
  • María Cristina Oddone
  • Carlos Bustamante
  • Naití Morales
Full Paper


Egg capsules of Zearaja chilensis were obtained from individuals kept in captivity and from dead specimens captured in Valparaíso Bay, central Chile. One female under laboratory conditions deposited three pairs of egg capsules in 6 days. The egg capsules of Dipturus trachyderma were obtained from a female captured in Valdivia, south Chile. Fresh egg capsules of both species were golden-brown and thick walled. Size of egg capsules of Z. chilensis ranged from 94 to 144 mm in capsule length and 64 to 76 mm in capsule width. Those of D. trachyderma ranged between 197 and 199 mm in capsule length and 110.0 and 129.0 mm in capsule width. Range and mean values of capsule length and width of egg capsules described in this study were smaller than those reported for the same species in the south-western Atlantic Ocean. This is the first report on egg-laying rate of Z. chilensis and the first description of egg capsules of Z. chilensis and D. trachyderma from the south-eastern Pacific Ocean.


Rajoid Egg-bearing elasmobranch Single oviparity Oviposition rate Chile 



The authors wish to thank all members of the Programa de Conservación de Tiburones de Chile (PCT) for their valuable help with logistics, sampling and dissections. We are very grateful to the fishermen involved, especially to those off Caleta Montemar, Caleta Higuerillas and Caleta Amargos, and to Iván Belliazze for providing access to samples. Additional thanks are due to Michael Bennett, Clinton Duffy and anonymous referees for their suggestions and comments on early versions of this article. C.B. was supported by CONICYT-Becas Chile and TUAP-Graduate School of The University of Queensland. All experimental work carried out and/or described within this research complies with current legislation of the government of Chile.


  1. Agnew DJ, Nolan CP, Beddington JR, Baranowski R (2000) Approaches to the assessment and management of multispecies skate and ray fisheries using the Falklands Islands fishery as an example. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 57:429–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bustamante C, Vargas-Caro C, Oddone MC, Concha F, Flores H, Lamilla J, Bennett MB (2012) Reproductive biology of Zearaja chilensis (Guichenot 1848) (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae) in the south-east Pacific Ocean. J Fish Biol 80:1213–1226PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cedrola P, González A, Pettovello A (2005) Bycatch of skates (Elasmobranchii: Arhynchobatidae, Rajidae) in the Patagonian red shrimp fishery. Fish Res 71:141–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark R (1922) Rays and skates (Raiae). J Mar Biol Assoc UK 12:577–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Concha F, Hernández S, Oddone MC (2009) Egg capsules of the raspthorn sandskate, Psammobatis scobina (Philippi, 1857) (Rajiformes, Rajidae). Rev Biol Mar Oceanogr 44:253–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Concha F, Bustamante C, Oddone MC, Hernández S, Lamilla L (2010) Egg capsules of the dusky catshark Bythaelurus canescens (Carcharhiniformes, Scyliorhinidae) from the south-eastern Pacific Ocean. J Fish Biol 77:963–971PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Du Buit MH (1976) The ovarian cycle of the cuckoo ray, Raja naevus (Müller and Henle), in the Celtic Sea. J Fish Biol 8:199–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ebert DA, Compagno LJV (2007) Biodiversity and systematics of skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes: Rajoidei). Environ Biol Fish 80:111–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ebert DA, Davis CD (2007) Descriptions of skate egg cases (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes: Rajoidei) from the eastern North Pacific. Zootaxa 1393:1–18Google Scholar
  10. Eschmeyer WN, Herald ES, Hammann H (1983) A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, BostonGoogle Scholar
  11. Fuentealba M, Leible M (1990) Perspectivas de la pesquería de la raya volantín Raja (Dipturus) flavirostris: Estudio de edad, crecimiento y algunos aspectos reproductivos. In: Barbieri MA (ed) Perspectivas de la actividad pesquera en Chile. Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, pp 227-236Google Scholar
  12. Gallagher MJ, Nolan CP, Jeal F (2004) Age, growth and maturity of the commercial ray species from the Irish Sea. J Northw Atl Fish Sci 37:47–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hamlett WC, Koob TJ (1999) Female reproductive system. In: Hamlett WC (ed) Sharks, skates and rays: biology of elasmobranch fishes. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 398–443Google Scholar
  14. Holden M, Rout D, Humphreys C (1971) The rate of egg laying of three species of ray. J Cons Int Explor Mer 3:335–339Google Scholar
  15. Ishihara H, Mochizuki T, Homma K, Taniuchi T (2002) Reproductive strategy of the Japanese common skate (Spiny Rasp Skate) Okamejei kenojei. In: Fowler SL, Reed TM, Dipper FA (eds) Elasmobranch biodiversity, conservation and management. Proceedings of the International Seminar and Workshop, Sabah, Malaysia, July 1997. Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No 25, pp 236-240Google Scholar
  16. Ishihara H, Treloar M, Bor P, Senou H, Jeong C (2012) The comparative morphology of skate egg capsules (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii: Rajiformes). Bull Kanagawa Prefect Mus (Nat Sci) 41:9–25Google Scholar
  17. Ishiyama R (1958) Observations on the egg-capsules of skates of the Family Rajidae found in Japan and its adjacent waters. Bull Mus Comp Zool 118:1–24Google Scholar
  18. Jañez J, Sueiro M (2009) Oviposition rate of the fanskate Sympterygia bonapartii (Elasmobranchii, Rajidae) (Müller & Henle, 1841) held in captivity. Pan-Amr J Aquat Sci 4:580–582Google Scholar
  19. Last PR, Gledhill DC (2007) The Maugean skate, Zearaja maugeana sp. nov. (Rajiformes: Rajidae)—a micro endemic Gondwanan relict from Tasmanian estuaries. Zootaxa 1494:45–65Google Scholar
  20. Licandeo R, Cerna F (2007) Geographic variation in life-history traits of the endemic kite skate Dipturus chilensis (Batoidea: Rajidae), along its distribution in the fjords and channels of southern Chile. J Fish Biol 71:421–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Licandeo R, Lamilla J, Rubilar P, Vega R (2006) Age, growth, and sexual maturity of the yellownose skate Dipturus chilensis in the south-eastern Pacific. J Fish Biol 68:488–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Licandeo R, Cerna F, Céspedes R (2007) Age, growth, and reproduction of the roughskin skate, Dipturus trachyderma, from the southeastern Pacific. ICES J Mar Sci 64:141–148Google Scholar
  23. Mabragaña E, Cousseau M (2004) Reproductive biology of two sympatric skates in the south-west Atlantic: Psammobatis rudis and Psammobatis normani. J Fish Biol 65:559–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mabragaña E, Lucífora L, Massa A (2002) The reproductive ecology and abundance of Sympterygia bonapartii endemic to the south-west Atlantic. J Fish Biol 60:951–967Google Scholar
  25. Mabragaña E, Figueroa D, Scenna L, Díaz de Astarloa J, Colonello J, Delpiani G (2011) Chondrichthyan egg cases from the south-west Atlantic Ocean. J Fish Biol 79:1261–1290PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McEachran JD, Aschliman N (2004) Phylogeny of Batoidea. In: Carrier JC, Musick JA, Heithaus MR (eds) Biology of sharks and their relatives. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 79–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Menni RC, Stehmann MTW (2000) Distribution, environment and biology of batoid fishes off Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. A review. Rev Mus Arg Cienc Nat 2:69–109Google Scholar
  28. Oddone MC (2005) Microscopic structure of the egg capsule of Atlantoraja cyclophora (Elasmobranchii: Rajidae: Arhynchobatinae). Biota Neotrop 5:1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Oddone MC, Marcal A, Vooren CM (2004) Egg capsules of Atlantoraja cyclophora (Regan, 1903) and A. platana (Günther, 1880) (Pisces, Elasmobranchii, Rajidae). Zootaxa 426:1-4Google Scholar
  30. Oddone MC, Mesa A, Amorim A (2006) The egg capsule of Rioraja agassizi (Müller & Henle) (Elasmobranchii, Rajidae), endemic to the SW Atlantic. Pan-Amr J Aquat Sci 1:43–48Google Scholar
  31. Oddone MC, Mesa A, Amorim A (2008) Description of the egg capsule of Atlantoraja castelnaui (Elasmobranchii, Rajidae). Braz J Oceanogr 56:65–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Oddone MC, Vooren CM (2002) Egg-cases and size at hatching of Sympterygia acuta in the south-western Atlantic. J Fish Biol 61:858–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Oddone MC, Vooren CM (2008) Comparative morphology and identification of egg capsules of skate species of the genera Atlantoraja Menni, 1972, Rioraja Whitley, 1939 and Sympterygia Müller & Henle, 1837. Arq Cienc Mar 41:5-13Google Scholar
  34. Paesch L, Oddone MC (2008a) Change in size-at-maturity of the yellownose skate Dipturus chilensis (Guichenot, 1848) (Elasmobranchii: Rajidae) in the SW Atlantic. Neotrop Ichthyol 6:223–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Paesch L, Oddone MC (2008b) Size at maturity and egg capsules of the softnose skates Bathyraja brachyurops (Fowler, 1910) and Bathyraja macloviana (Norman, 1937) (Elasmobranchii: Rajidae) in the SW Atlantic (37°00′–39°30′S). J Appl Ichthyol 24:1–6Google Scholar
  36. Treloar M (2008) Aspects of the life history of skates from southeastern Australia. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Deakin University, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  37. Treloar M, Laurenson L, Stevens JD (2006) Descriptions of rajid egg cases from southeastern Australian waters. Zootaxa 1231:53–68Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Concha
    • 1
  • María Cristina Oddone
    • 2
  • Carlos Bustamante
    • 3
  • Naití Morales
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Biología y Conservación de Condrictios, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos NaturalesUniversidad de Valparaíso, ChileViña del MarChile
  2. 2.Fisiologia Animal Comparada, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  3. 3.School of Biomedical SciencesThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations