Journal of Ichthyology

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 478–496 | Cite as

New data on the rare deep-sea skate Amblyraja jenseni (Rajidae) from the North Atlantic Ocean

  • A. M. OrlovEmail author
  • C. F. Cotton


In this study we present the most complete description of color variation, morphometric and meristic characters for the rare deep-sea North Atlantic Jensen’s skate Amblyraja jenseni, based on analyses of a wide range of accessible material. Comparisons of external morphological characters of male and female specimens of varying sizes and from different regions of the North Atlantic indicated regional morphological differences likely due to prolonged geographic isolation of local populations of this species. The vast majority of individuals exhibited a “dark” coloration, with a less common “light” coloration observed particularly among skates from the waters of the northeast and northwest Atlantic. Only dark-colored skates were found in the waters of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We also provide new data on the habitat, vertical distribution and size of the Jensen’s skate.


Jensen’s skate Amblyraja jenseni external morphology color morphometrics meristics dimorphism North Atlantic 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alpoim, R., Avial de Melo, A., Bañon, R., et al., Distribution and main characteristic of fish species on Flemish Cap based on the 1988-2002 EU-Surveys in July, in NAFO SCR Document 02/72, Serial No. N4685, Dartmouth: NAFO Headquarters, 2002.Google Scholar
  2. Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C., Notes on Northwest Atlantic sharks and skates, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 1927, vol. 68, pp. 237–251.Google Scholar
  3. Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C., New and little known cartilaginous fishes from the Atlantic, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 1950, vol. 103, pp. 385–408.Google Scholar
  4. Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C., Sawfishes, guitarfishes, skates and rays, in Fishes of the Western North Atlantic, TeeVan, J., et al., Eds., New Haven: Sears Found. Mar. Res., Yale Univ., 1953, vol. 1, part 2.Google Scholar
  5. Coad, B.W. and Reist, J.D., Annotated list of the Arctic marine fishes of Canada, Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2004, no. 2674, pp. 1–118.Google Scholar
  6. Cousins, N.J., Linley, T.D., Jamieson, A.J., et al., Bathyal demersal fishes of Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone region (49–54° N) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: II. Baited camera lander observations, Deep Sea Res., Part II, 2013, vol. 98, pp. 397–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dolganov, V.N., The origin and distribution of rays of the suborder Rajoidei in the World Ocean, J. Ichthyol., 2002, vol. 42, suppl. 1, pp. 1–22.Google Scholar
  8. Ebert, D.A. and Stehmann, M.F.W., Sharks, batoids, and chimaeras of the North Atlantic, FAO Spec. Cat. Fish. Purp., 2013, no 7.Google Scholar
  9. George, M.R. and Zidowitz, H., Checkliste der europäischen Knorpelfisharten mit wissenschaftlichen und deutschen Namen, Z. Fischkund., 2006, vol. 8, pp. 71–81.Google Scholar
  10. Goodwin, H.B., Skate and ray management in the Northwest Atlantic: an overview of current management and recommendations for conservation, MSc Thesis, Halifax: Dalhousie Univ., 2012.Google Scholar
  11. Gordon, J.D.M. and Duncan, J.A.R., Deep-sea bottomliving fishes at two repeat stations at 2200 and 2900 m in the Rockall Trough, northeastern Atlantic Ocean, Mar. Biol., 1987, vol. 96, pp. 309–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gordon, J.D.M. and Duncan, J.A.R., A note on distribution and diet of deep-water rays (Rajidae) in an area of the Rockall Trough, J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K., 1989, vol. 69, pp. 655–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Halliday, R.G., Themelis, D.E., and Hickey, W.M., Demersal fishes caught with bottom gillnets and baited gears at 500–2800 m on the continental slope off Nova Scotia, Canada, J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci., 2012, vol. 44, pp. 31–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hubbs, C.L. and Ishiyama, R., Methods for taxonomic study and description of skates (Rajidae), Copeia, 1968, no. 3, pp. 483–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnston, G., O’Hea, B., and Dransfeld, L., Fish species recorded during deepwater trawl survey on the continental shelf and the Porcupine Bank, 2006–2008, Irish Nat. J., 2010, vol. 31, pp. 130–134.Google Scholar
  16. Karrer, C., Über Fischarten aus der Davisstrasse und Labradorsee, Mitt. Zool. Mus. Ber., 1976, vol. 52, pp. 371–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kenchington, E., Power, D., and Koen-Alonso, M., Associations of demersal fish with sponge grounds on the continental slopes of the Northwest Atlantic, Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 2013, vol. 477, pp. 217–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kirpichnikov, V.S., Genetika i selektsiya ryb (Genetics and Breeding of Fishes). Leningrad: Nauka, 1987.Google Scholar
  19. Kulka, D., Orlov, A., and Barker, A., Jensen’s skate Amblyraja jenseni (Bigelow and Schroeder, 1950), in Report of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group Northeast Atlantic Red List Workshop “The Conservation of Northeast Atlantic Chondrichthyans” Gibson, C., et al., Eds., Newbury: IUCN Spec. Surv. Comm., Shark Spec. Group, 2008.Google Scholar
  20. Leim, A.H. and Scott, W.B., Fishes of the Atlantic coast of Canada, Bull. Fish. Res. Bd. Can., 1966, no. 155, pp. 1–485.Google Scholar
  21. Møller, P.R., Nielsen, J.G., Knudsen, S.W., et al., A checklist of the fish fauna of Greenland waters, Zootaxa, 2010, no. 2378, pp. 1–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Moore, J.A., Hartel, K.E., Craddock, J.E., and Gallbraith, J.K., An annotated list of deepwater fishes from off the New England region, with new area records, Northeast Nat., 2003, no. 10, pp. 159–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Neat, F., Burns, F., Drewery, J., The deepwater ecosystem of the continental shelf slope and seamounts of the Rockall Trough: a report on the ecology and biodiversity based on FRS scientific surveys, in Fisheries Research Services Internal Report No 02/08, Aberdeen: Fish. Res. Serv., 2008.Google Scholar
  24. Nielsen, J.G. and Bertelsen, E., Fisk i Grønlandske Farvande, Nuuk: Atuakkiorfik, 1992.Google Scholar
  25. Orlov, A.M., On the justification of commercial measure for the Far East skates (fam. Rajidae) for an example of mass western Bering Sea species, Tr. VNIRO, 2006, vol. 146, pp. 252–264.Google Scholar
  26. Orlov, A.M., New data on rare deep-water Mid-Atlantic skate Rajella kukujevi (Rajidae), J. Ichthyol., 2014, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 317–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Orlov, A.M. and Cotton, C.F., Sexually dimorphic morphological characters in five North Atlantic deepwater skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes), J. Mar. Biol., 2011, Article ID 842821. doi:  10.1155/2011/842821 Google Scholar
  28. Orlov, A.M. and Cotton, C.F., New data on rare deepwater North Atlantic skate Bathyraja pallida (Forster, 1967) (Arhynchobatidae, Rajiformes), J. Ichthyol., 2013, vol. 53, no. 7, pp. 465–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Orlov, A., Cotton, C., and Byrkjedal, I., Deepwater skates (Rajidae) collected during the 2004 cruises of RV G.O. Sars and M.S. Loran in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge area, Cybium, 2006, vol. 30, suppl., pp. 35–48.Google Scholar
  30. Orlov, A.M., Cotton, C.F., and Shevernitsky, D.A., Sexual dimorphism of external morphological characters in some deepwater skates (Rajidae, Rajiformes, Chondrichthyes) of the North Atlantic, Moscow Univ. Biol. Sci. Bull., 2010, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 40–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Quero, J.-C., Lorance, P., and Tardy, E., Observations ichtyologiques effectuees en 1999 a bord du navire de recherche “Thalassa”, Ann. Soc. Sci. Nat. Chart.-Marit., 2000, vol. 8, pp. 1047–1058.Google Scholar
  32. Séret, B., Guide des Requins, des Raies et des Chimères des Pêches Françaises, Paris: IRD, 2010.Google Scholar
  33. Silva, J.F., Ellis, J.R., and Catchpole, T.L., Species composition of skates (Rajidae) in commercial fisheries around the British Isles and their discarding patterns, J. Fish. Biol., 2012, vol. 80, pp. 1678–1703.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Stehmann, M.F.W. and Merrett, N.R., First records of advanced embryos and egg capsules of Bathyraja skates from the deep north-eastern Atlantic, J. Fish. Biol., 2001, vol. 59, pp. 338–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stehmann, M.F.W., Séret, B., Costa, E.M., and Baro, J., Neoraja iberica n. sp., a new species of pygmy skate (Elasmobranchii, Rajidae) from the southern upper slope of the Iberian Peninsula (Eastern North Atlantic), Cybium, 2008, vol. 32, pp. 51–71.Google Scholar
  36. Sulak, K.J., MacWhirter, P.D., Luke, K.E., et al., Identification guide to skates (family Rajidae) of the Canadian Atlantic and adjacent regions, Can. Tech. Rept. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2009, no. 2850, pp. 1–34.Google Scholar
  37. Tempelman, W., Some abnormalities in skates (Raja) of the Newfoundland area, J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can., 1965, vol. 22, pp. 237–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vázquez, A., Casas, J.M., Brodie, W.B., et al., List of species as recorded by Canadian and EU bottom trawl survey in Flemish Cap, in NAFO SCR Document 13/005, Serial No. N6154, Dartmouth: NAFO Headquarters, 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO)MoscowRussia
  2. 2.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of Sciences (IPEE RAS)MoscowRussia
  3. 3.Florida State University Coastal and Marine LabSt. TeresaUSA

Personalised recommendations