Order RAJIFORMES (Skates)

COMMENTS
v. 5.0 – 26 Oct. 2014  view/download PDF

5 families • 47 genera/subgenera • 353 species

Family RHINIDAE Bowmouth Guitarfish

Rhina Bloch & Schneider 1801    rhinos, nose, possibly referring to wide, blunt snout

Rhina ancylostoma Bloch & Schneider 1801    angkylos, bent, hooked or crooked; stoma, mouth, probably referring to bow-shaped mouth


Family RHYNCHOBATIDAE Wedgefishes
1 genus • 6 species

Rhynchobatus Müller & Henle 1837    a batis, skate or ray, with a pointed rhynchos, snout

Rhynchobatus australiae Whitley 1939    of Australia (name originally proposed as an Australian subspecies of R. djiddensis)

Rhynchobatus djiddensis Forsskål 1775    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Djidda (now Jedda), Saudi Arabia, on Red Sea, putative type locality

Rhynchobatus immaculatus Last, Ho & Chen 2013    im-, not; maculatus, spotted, referring to lack of a dark pectoral marking (rather than any white spots) otherwise present in small individuals of congeners

Rhynchobatus laevis Bloch & Schneider 1801    smooth, presumably referring to smooth body and small, cobblestone-like scales

Rhynchobatus luebberti Ehrenbaum 1915     in honor of Hans Lübbert, German fisheries director

Rhynchobatus palpebratus Compagno & Last 2008    palpebra, eyelid, referring to dark, eyebrow-like marking on suborbital membrane

Rhynchobatus springeri Compagno & Last 2010    in honor of the late Stewart Springer (1906-1991), for his contribution to the systematics of Rhynchobatus


Family RHINOBATIDAE Guitarfishes
9 genera/subgenera • 48 species

Aptychotrema Norman 1926    a-, without; ptycho, fold; trema, hole, referring to absence of spiracular folds in nostrils

Aptychotrema rostrata (Shaw 1794)     beaked, referring to elongated snout

Aptychotrema timorensis Last 2004     -ensis, suffix denoting place: Timor Sea, type locality

Aptychotrema vincentiana (Haacke 1885)    -iana, belonging to: St. Vincent Gulf, South Australia, type locality

Rhinobatos Linck 1790    presumably tautonymous with Raja rhinobatos (no species mentioned); rhine, rasp, a generic term for shark, referring to a shark’s rough skin; batis, skate or ray, referring to its body form being intermediate between that of a shark and ray

Subgenus Rhinobatos

Rhinobatos albomaculatus Norman 1930    albus, white; maculatus, spotted, referring to white eye spots or ocelli on dorsal surface

Rhinobatos annandalei Norman 1926    in honor of zoologist-anthropologist Thomas Nelson Annandale (1876-1924), Director, Indian Museum (Calcutta), who had published many papers on the fishes of India, including a 1909 account of this species

Rhinobatos formosensis Norman 1926    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Formosa (Taiwan), type locality

Rhinobatos holcorhynchus Norman 1922    holkos, furrow, grove or track; rhynchos, snout or rostrum, presumably referring to widely separated rostral ridge

Rhinobatos hynnicephalus Richardson 1846    hynnis, plowshare; cephalus, head, a Latin translation of its Chinese name, referring to shape of head and acuminated snout

Rhinobatos irvinei Norman 1931    in honor of botanist Frederick Robert Irvine (1898-1962), who collected many fishes off the coast of West Africa, including type of this one

Rhinobatos jimbaranensis Last, White & Fahmi 2006     -ensis, suffix denoting place: Jimbaran Bay (Indonesia), type locality and only place where specimens have so far been collected

Rhinobatos lionotus Norman 1926    leios, smooth; notos, back, referring to minute skin denticles, presumably on dorsal surface, which are “smooth to the touch”

Rhinobatos nudidorsalis Last, Compagno & Nakaya 2004    nudus, bare, naked; dorsum, back, referring to smooth, denticle-free upper surface

Rhinobatos penggali Last, White & Fahmi 2006    Indonesian for shovel, referring to head shape of this and other “shovelnose rays”

Rhinobatos punctifer Compagno & Randall 1987    punctum, spot; fero, to carry or bear, referring to prominent regular pattern of white spots on dorsum

Rhinobatos rhinobatos (Linnaeus 1758)    rhine, rasp, a generic term for shark, referring to a shark’s rough skin; batis, skate or ray, referring to its body form being intermediate between that of a shark and ray

Rhinobatos sainsburyi Last 2004    in honor of Keith Sainsbury, for planning and managing the initial trawl surveys of the continental shelf of northwestern Australia, for recognizing the need to document the fauna before addressing more management-oriented questions, and for pioneering research that provided an excellent biological baseline

Rhinobatos schlegelii Müller & Henle 1841    in honor of ornithologist and herpetologist Hermann Schlegel (1804-1884), for his unhesitating support of the authors’ work

Rhinobatos whitei Last, Corrigan & Naylor 2014    in honor of colleague William White, for contributions to the taxonomic and biological knowledge of sharks and rays of the Western Central Pacific   

Subgenus Acroteriobatus Giltay 1928    etymology not explained; perhaps acro-, top or peak; -terion, place or tool, allusions not evident; batis, skate or ray

Rhinobatos annulatus Müller & Henle 1841    ringed, referring to white annular rings around body and tail

Rhinobatos blochii Müller & Henle 1841    in honor of ichthyologist Marcus Élisier Bloch (1723-1799), whose collection furnished the authors with a preserved specimen of this ray

Rhinobatos leucospilus Norman 1926    leukos, white; spilos, spot, referring to blue-gray spots on snout and pectoral fins

Rhinobatos ocellatus Norman 1926    having little eyes, referring to numerous blue-gray eyespots, or ocelli, on back

Rhinobatos salalah Randall & Compagno 1995    city in southern Oman where only specimen was obtained at a fish market

Rhinobatos variegatus Nair & Lal Mohan 1973    referring to variegated markings of pectoral and pelvic margins

Rhinobatos zanzibarensis Norman 1926    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Zanzibar (Tanzania), type locality

Subgenus Glaucostegus Bonaparte 1846    glaucus, hoary blue; stego-, roof or cover, etymology not explained and allusion not evident as none of the three species Bonaparte included in the taxon (thouin, halavi, cemiculus) appear to be grayish-blue in color

Rhinobatos cemiculus Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1817   diminutive of cemo-, muzzle, i.e., small snout

Rhinobatos glaucostigmus Jordan & Gilbert 1883    glaucus, hoary blue; stigma, spot, referring to numerous slate-colored spots on disk

Rhinobatus halavi (Forsskål 1775)    Arabic vernacular for this species, described from Saudi Arabia

Rhinobatos horkelii Müller & Henle 1841   in honor of physician-botanist Johann Horkel (1769-1846), who provided a preserved specimen from the University of Berlin

Rhinobatos lentiginosus Garman 1880    freckled, referring to its dense freckling of small pale spots

Rhinobatos leucorhynchus Günther 1867    leukos, white; rhynchos, snout, referring to pale areas on snout

Rhinobatos microphthalmus Teng 1959    micro-, small; ophthalmos, eye, much smaller than spiracle

Rhinobatos percellens (Walbaum 1792)    smiting, perhaps referring to Walbaum’s mistaken belief that it can produce an electric shock when held in the hand (“Quando manu tangitur ictu electrico ferit.”)

Rhinobatos petiti Chabanaud 1929    in honor of Georges Petit, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), who collected type

Rhinobatos planiceps Garman 1880    planus, flat; -ceps, head, referring to broad, flat head

Rhinobatos productus Ayres 1854    produced, referring to pointed snout

Rhinobatos typus Anonymous [Bennett] 1830    allusion not evident; Bennett may have intended this species to represent type of genus (type is assumed to be R. rhinobatos based on tautonymy but accurate type designation has never been researched)

Subgenus Platipornax Whitley 1939    etymology not explained; perhaps platys, broad, referring to expanded tip of snout; meaning of pornax is unknown

Rhinobatos thouin (Anonymous [Lacepède] 1798)    in honor of botanist André Thouin (1746-1824), who helped secure a specimen in Holland and transport it to France

Subgenus Scobatus Whitley 1939    etymology not explained; perhaps scobina, rasp, referring to shagreen-like skin of R. granulatus; batis, skate or ray

Rhinobatos granulatus Cuvier 1829     diminutive of granum, grain, referring to shagreen-like granulated skin

Rhinobatos obtusus Müller & Henle 1841    blunt, referring to broad and blunt snout

Incertae sedis

Rhinobatos prahli Acero P. & Franke 1995    in honor of Henry von Prahl (1948-1989), pioneering (“pionero”) Colombian marine biologist who studied Gorgona Island (type locality), and martyr of national biology (“mártir de la biología nacional”), martyr reference presumably alluding to his death in the bombing of Avianca Airlines Flight 203 over Bogatá

Rhinobatos spinosus Günther 1870     spiny, referring to compressed spines with dilated base along median line of back, on shoulder, and above eye and spiracle

Tarsistes Jordan 1919    an oar blade, referring to paddle-like snout

Tarsistes philippii Jordan 1919    in honor of paleontologist-zoologist Rodolfo Amando (or Rudolph Amandus) Philippi (1808-1904), who proposed a genus for this species (known only from a dried head) in 1858 but used a name, Rhynchobatis, which Jordan mistakenly believed was preoccupied by Rhynchobatus

Trygonorrhina Müller & Henle 1838    having the nose of Trygon (=Dasyatis, stingrays) and the tail of Rhinobatos

Trygonorrhina fasciata Müller & Henle 1841    banded, referring to transverse bands on back, dorsal fin and tail

Trygonorrhina melaleuca Scott 1954    melas, black, referring to bluish-black pattern covering back and upper part of tail to caudal fin; leukos, white, referring to off-white outer magin of disc and dorsal and caudal fins

Zapteryx Jordan & Gilbert 1880    za-, very; pteryx, fin, referring to larger vertical fins compared to those of skates (Raja)

Zapteryx brevirostris (Müller & Henle 1841)    brevis, short; rostris, snout, referring to short and blunt snout

Zapteryx exasperata (Jordan & Gilbert 1880)    made rough, referring to back entirely covered with stout, close-set, stellated prickles

Zapteryx xyster Jordan & Evermann 1896    a scraper, perhaps referring to “entire lower surface covered with fine shagreen”


Family RAJIDAE Skates
31 genera/subgenera • 285 species
Subfamily RAJINAE Hardnose Skates
17 genera • 182 species

Amblyraja Malm 1877    amblys, blunt, probably referring to relatively blunt snout compared to related skate genera; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Amblyraja badia (Garman 1899)    badius, brown, referring to chocolate brown coloration

Amblyraja doellojuradoi (Pozzi 1935)    in honor Martín Doello-Jurado (1884-1948), Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, for his studies of Argentine hydrobiology

Amblyraja frerichsi (Krefft 1968)    in honor of Th. Frerichs, captain of the research vessel Walther Herwig, from which type was collected, for “his keen interest in deep-sea catches, which assured us many precious discoveries” (translation)

Amblyraja georgiana (Norman 1938)    -iana, belonging to South Georgia (southern Atlantic Ocean), type locality

Amblyraja hyperborea (Collett 1879)    hyper-, very; boreas, northern, referring to distribution in the Arctic Ocean and waters around Canada and northwest Europe (also occures in Pacific Ocean and in waters surrounding Antarctica and New Zealand)

Amblyraja jenseni (Bigelow & Schroeder 1950)    in honor of Danish zoologist Adolf Severin Jensen (1866-1953), Lund University, for contributions to the ichthyology of the North Atlantic

Amblyraja radiata (Donovan 1808)    radiated, referring to large spinous plates on body and tail, each with a radiated or stellate base

Amblyraja reversa (Lloyd 1906)    reversed, referring to pale coloration on dorsal surface and dark coloration on ventral surface

Amblyraja robertsi Hulley 1970    in honor of J. Douglas Roberts, “who by his kind generosity, made the study of the [research vessel] Walther Herwig [type] material in Hamburg [Germany] possible”

Amblyraja taaf (Meissner 1987)    abbreviation of Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands), a group of volcanic islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, type locality

Breviraja Bigelow & Schroeder 1948    brevis, short, referring to short tip of rostral process; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Breviraja abasiriensis Ishiyama 1952    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Abasiri, Japan, in the Okhotsk Sea, type locality

Breviraja claramaculata McEachran & Matheson 1985     clarus, bright; macula, spot, referring to light-colored spots on dorsal surface

Breviraja colesi Bigelow & Schroeder 1948    patronym not identified, possibly in honor of angler and amateur shark and ray biologist Russell J. Coles

Breviraja marklei McEachran & Miyake 1987    in honor of ichthyologist Douglas F. Markle, who collected type and sent it to the authors

Breviraja mouldi McEachran & Matheson 1995    in honor of Brian Mould, University of Nottingham, who alerted the authors that their original (1985) name for this species was preoccupied by Breviraja (=Bathyraja) schroederi Krefft 1968

Breviraja nigriventralis McEachran & Matheson 1985    nigra, black; ventralis, belly, referring to uniformly black ventral coloration in living specimens

Breviraja spinosa Bigelow & Schroeder 1950    spiny, referring to 3-4 irregular rows of large and conspicuous thorns along middle belt of disc

Cruriraja Bigelow & Schroeder 1948    crus, limb, referring to anterior lobes of pelvic fins, which form a slender, limb-like structure; raia, Latin for skate or ray

Cruriraja andamanica (Lloyd 1909)    -ica, belonging to:  the Andaman Sea, type locality

Cruriraja atlantis Bigelow & Schroeder 1948    named after Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute research vessel Atlantis, which collected three new species of skates along the coasts of Cuba, including this one

Cruriraja cadenati Bigelow & Schroeder 1962    in honor of ichthyologist Jean Cadenat (1908-1992), University of Dakar, for his work on the elasmobranchs of the west coast of Africa

Cruriraja durbanesis (von Bonde & Swart 1923)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: off the coast of Durban, South Africa (a misnomer since type was actually taken off western Cape Province)

Cruriraja hulleyi Aschliman, Ebert & Compagno 2010     in honor of P. A. “Butch” Hulley, Iziko South African Museum, for his “pioneering” research on southern African skates (where this skate occurs)

Cruriraja parcomaculata (von Bonde & Swart 1923)    parcus, scanty; maculatus, spotted, presumably referring to fewer (14-18) spots on disc compared to Rajella leopardus

Cruriraja poeyi Bigelow & Schroeder 1948    patronym not specified but clearly in honor of Cuban zoologist Felipe Poey (1799-1891), an appropriate patronym for this Cuban skate

Cruriraja rugosa Bigelow & Schroeder 1958      wrinkled or shriveled, presumably referring to minute prickles covering underside of tail

Dactylobatus Bean & Weed 1909    daktylos, finger, referring to how 6-7 middle rays of pectorals form finger-like processes; batis, skate or ray

Dactylobatus armatus Bean & Weed 1909     armament, referring to double row of sharp, hooked spines on ventral surface

Dactylobatus clarkii (Bigelow & Schroeder 1958)    in honor of Robert S. Clark, for his 1926 revision of European skates and rays

Dentiraja Whitley 1940    denti-, referring to numerous denticles embedded in skin of Raja dentata (=Dentiraja lemprieri), i.e., a denticulated Raja

Dentiraja flindersi Last & Gledhill 2008    referring to its distribution in the western warm temperate biogeographic region of Australia, otherwise known as the Flindersian Province

Dentiraja lemprieri (Richardson 1845)    in honor of Deputy Assistant Commissary-General F. J. Lempriere, “to whose exertions the Ichthyology of Van Diemen’s Land [Tasmania] is much indebted”

Dipturus Rafinesque 1810    di-, two; pteron, fin, referring to two rayed dorsal fins on tail

Dipturus acrobelus Last, White & Pogonoski 2008    acrobeles, arrow, or pointed at the end, referring to long, angular snout and somewhat arrow-head shaped body

Dipturus amphispinus Last & Alava 2013    amphi-, on both sides or double; spinus, thorn, referring to two prominent rows of strongly tilted thorns that form a ridge on median disc

Dipturus apricus Last, White & Pogonoski 2008    exposed to the sun, “in cryptic reference to its common name … Pale Tropical Skate”

Dipturus argentinensis Díaz de Astarloa, Mabragaña, Hanner & Figueroa 2008    -ensis, suffix denoting place: the Argentine Sea, type locality

Dipturus australis (Macleay 1884)    southern or Australian, this being the first time Macleay has known of a “true” skate (i.e., Raja and its relatives) being found in Port Jackson

Dipturus batis (Linnaeus 1758)    Latin for skate or ray

Dipturus bullisi (Bigelow & Schroeder 1962)    in honor of marine biologist Harvey R. Bullis, Jr., for providing the batoid fishes collected during the exploratory cruises of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and along the South American coast

Dipturus campbelli (Wallace 1967)    in honor of G. G. Campbell, “who was instrumental in the establishment of a marine biological research institute on the east coast of South Africa”

Dipturus canutus Last 2008    gray or ash-colored, referring to its almost uniformly gray dorsal coloration

Dipturus cerva (Whitley 1939)    doe, probably referring to deer-like coloration of female’s dorsal surface, light tan to dark brown with distinct white spots

Dipturus confusus Last 2008    referring to previous confusion with two other Australasian skates, Zearaja nasuta and Dipturus cerva

Dipturus crosnieri (Séret 1989)    in honor of carcinologist Alain Crosnier, who initiated the deep trawling surveys off Madagascar in the 1970s, and who entrusted Séret with his valuable collection of Madagascar skates

Dipturus diehli Soto & Mincarone 2001    in honor of Fernando Luiz Diehl, for his “extensive work and tireless dedication to oceanography in Brazil”

Dipturus doutrei Cadenat 1960    in honor of M. M. Doutre, chief fisheries officer for Senegal, off the coast of which this skate occurs

Dipturus ecuadoriensis (Beebe & Tee-Van 1941)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Ecuador, referring to type locality, San Helena Bay, Ecuador

Dipturus endeavouri Last 2008    “after the ill-fated F.I.S. Endeavour, the Federal fisheries survey vessel that was responsible for collecting the first specimens of this species and so many of Australia’s continental shelf fishes in the early 20th century before it along with all hands was lost at sea in 1914”

Dipturus falloargus Last 2008    fallo, false, deceive; Argus, mythical hundred-eyed guardian of Io, whose eyes after death where transformed into the feathers of a peacock, referring to vague, eye-like marking on middle of each pectoral fin

Dipturus flavirostris (Philippi 1892)    flavus, yellow; rostris, snout, referring to yellow nose                

Dipturus garricki (Bigelow & Schroeder 1958)     in honor of J. A. F. (Jack) Garrick (b. 1953), Victoria University College, Wellington, for his work on the elasmobranchs of New Zealand

Dipturus gigas (Ishiyama 1958)    large, i.e., being the largest member of a Raja subgenus Ishiyama named Tengujei (now a junior synonym of Dipturus)

Dipturus grahami Last 2008    in honor of two unrelated ichthyologists, Alastair Graham (Collection Manager, Australian National Fish collection) and Ken Graham (Fisheries Biologist, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries), for their “very important but very different” contributions to the knowledge of Australian sharks and rays

Dipturus gudgeri (Whitley 1940)    in honor of Eugene Willis Gudger (1866-1956), American Museum of Natural History (New York), “in appreciation of his work on fishes and their bibliography”

Dipturus healdi Last, White & Pogonoski 2008    in honor of David Heald, Department of Fisheries Western Australia, who discovered this species off Western Australia in the early 1980s

Dipturus innominatus (Garrick & Paul 1974)    in-, not; nominatus, named, referring to its not having a name even though it had been known since at least 1953

Dipturus johannisdavisi (Alcock 1899)    in honor of the “celebrated Elizabethan navigator and explorer John Davis [1550?-1605] who — though best known for his Arctic voyages — piloted three expeditions to the East Indies and lost his life in Indian Seas”

Dipturus kwangtungensis (Chu 1960)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: off the coast of Guangdong (=Kwangtung) Province, referring to type locality in South China Sea

Dipturus laevis (Mitchill 1818)    smooth, referring to smooth (or relatively smooth) dorsal surface

Dipturus lanceorostratus (Wallace 1967)    lanceola, small spear; rostratus, beaked, probably referring to long, acutely pointed snout

Dipturus leptocauda (Krefft & Stehmann 1975)    leptos, thin; cauda, tail, referring to considerably long and thin tail compared to relatively short and broad tail of some congeners

Dipturus macrocauda (Ishiyama 1955)    macro-, long; cauda, tail, a possible misnomer since Ishiyama described the tail as short and “stumpy”; perhaps he was referring to the “enormously large” electric organ that makes the middle of the tail thicker

Dipturus melanospilus Last, White & Pogonoski 2008     melanos, black; spilos, stained or spot, referring to distinctive black margin on outer half of the anterior ventral disc in juveniles (less distinct in adults)

Dipturus mennii Gomes & Paragó 2001    in honor of Argentine ichthyologist Roberto Carlos Menni, for his contributions to the study of South American rays

Dipturus nidarosiensis (Storm 1881)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Nidaros, name of Trondheim during the Middle Ages, referring to Trondheim Fjord, Norway, type locality

Dipturus oculus Last 2008    eye, referring to eye-like marking on each pectoral fin

Dipturus olseni (Bigelow & Schroeder 1951)    in honor of Yngve H. Olsen, assistant editor of the authors’ “Fishes of the Western North Atlantic” monographs, for his “excellent editorial work”

Dipturus oregoni (Bigelow & Schroeder 1958)    in recognition of the fishery explorations of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service vessel Oregon in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea

Dipturus oxyrinchus (Linnaeus 1758)    oxys, sharp; rhynchos, snout, referring to long and sharp snout

Dipturus polyommata (Ogilby 1910)    poly, many; ommata, eyed, referring to numerous white-edged spots on dorsal surface

Dipturus pullopunctatus (Smith 1964)    pullus, dark; punctatus, spotted, referring to small, dark brown to black spots scattered irregularly over dorsal surface

Dipturus queenslandicus Last, White & Pogonoski 2008    -icus, belonging to: Queensland, referring to its regional geographical range

Dipturus springeri (Wallace 1967)    in honor of Stewart Springer (1906-1991), Chief Scientist on Cruise 8 of the International Indian Ocean Expedition (which collected type), for his elasmobranch studies

Dipturus stenorhynchus (Wallace 1967)    stenos, narrow; rhynchus, presumably referring to “long wedge-shaped” snout (although sphenos, wedge, is perhaps a more accurate descriptor)

Dipturus teevani (Bigelow & Schroeder 1951)    in honor of John Tee Van, “in appreciation of his helpful assistance” as editor-in-chief of the authors’ “Fishes of the Western North Atlantic” monographs

Dipturus tengu (Jordan & Fowler 1903)    Tengii or Tegu, a comical being in Japanese mythology with a very long nose, which he thrusts into the business of other people, referring to the skate’s greatly produced snout

Dipturus trachyderma (Krefft & Stehmann 1975)    trachys, coarse or rough; derma, skin, referring to very coarse dermal denticles on dorsal and ventral surfaces

Dipturus wengi Séret & Last 2008     in honor of Herman Weng, Queensland fisheries biologist, “who showed an enthusiastic interest in skates and collected the first validated Australian specimens of this species in 1983”

Dipturus whitleyi (Iredale 1938)    in honor of Australian ichthyologist-malacologist Gilbert Percy Whitley (1903-1975), as a replacement name for the preoccupied Raja scabra Ogilby, which Whitley had used in a recent article; “Mr. Whitley’s oversight,” wrote Iredale, “is the more remarkable as he and I pride ourselves that we carefully check all of our references many times, yet even with our meticulousness errors may slip through”; Whitley later wrote that Iredale “supplied a barrage of vigorous criticism”

Dipturus wuhanlingi Jeong & Nakabo 2008    in honor of Han-Lin Wu, Shanghai Fisheries University, for his “great contributions” to Chinese ichthyology

Fenestraja McEachran & Compagno 1982    fenestra, referring to nasal capsules with basal fenestrae (compared to closely related Neoraja, which lacks them); raia, Latin for ray or skate

Fenestraja atripinna (Bigelow & Schroeder 1950)    atri-, black; pinna, fin, referring to its sooty black dorsals

Fenestraja cubensis (Bigelow & Schroeder 1950)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Cuba (north-central coast)

Fenestraja ishiyamai (Bigelow & Schroeder 1962)    in honor of Reizo Tshiyama, for his work on Japanese batoids

Fenestraja maceachrani (Séret 1989)    in honor of John D. McEachran (note latinization of “Mc” to “Mac”), for his major contributions to skate and ray systematics

Fenestraja mamillidens (Alcock 1889)    referring to how each tooth (-dens) has a “broad globular base and a gently pointed mamillary summit [point]”

Fenestraja plutonia (Garman 1881)    dusky, referring to brown-grayish or purplish coloration with irregular “indistinctly defined” spots of brown

Fenestraja sibogae (Weber 1913)    named for the ship Siboga and Indonesian expedition (1898-1899) of same name, during which type was collected

Fenestraja sinusmexicanus (Bigelow & Schroeder 1950)    -icus, belonging to: sinus, gulf; mexicanus, Mexico, referring to its distribution in the Gulf of Mexico

Gurgesiella de Buen 1959    etymology not explained; probably derived from gurges, abyss, referring to deepwater habitat of G. furvescens

Gurgesiella atlantica (Bigelow & Schroeder 1962)    referring to distribution from the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua to the “offing” of the Amazon River

Gurgesiella dorsalifera McEachran & Compagno 1980    dorsal, dorsal fin; fero, to bear, referring to its being the only species of Gurgesiella with a dorsal fin

Gurgesiella furvescens de Buen 1959    growing dark, likely referring to dusky, dark coffee (“café obscuro”) coloration

Hongeo Jeong & Nakabo 2009    hong-eo, Korean common name for skates

Hongeo koreana (Jeong & Nakabo 1997)    referring to the Korean waters where holotype was collected

Leucoraja Malm 1877    leukos, white, referring to pale color of L. fullonica and L. lintea (=Rajella lintea); raia, Latin for ray or skate

Leucoraja caribbaea (McEachran 1977)    referring to Caribbean distribution, from Quintana Roo to Nicaragua

Leucoraja circularis (Couch 1838)    circular, referring to the disk’s “great tendency to circularity” compared to Raja (=Dipturus) oxyrinchus

Leucoraja compagnoi (Stehmann 1995)    in honor of Leonard J. V. Compagno, for his “fundamental contributions to chondrichthyan systematics, mainly on sharks, and his research devoted to South African chondrichthyans”

Leucoraja erinacea (Mitchill 1825)    hedgehog, referring to how the specimen Mitchill examined, which curled its tail under its body, arched its back and presented its “armature and prickles,” resembled a hedgehog

Leucoraja fullonica (Linnaeus 1758)    latinization of fuller, a tool used to smooth cloth, referring to the ray’s rough and spiny dorsal surface

Leucoraja garmani (Whitley 1939)    in honor of Harvard ichthyologist-herpetologist Samuel Garman (1843-1927), who originally described this species but used a preoccupied name (Raja ornata, a fossil species)

Leucoraja lentiginosa (Bigelow & Schroeder 1951)    freckled, referring to dense, small, dark, light brown and whitish spots on dorsal surface

Leucoraja leucosticta (Stehmann 1971)    leukos, white; stiktos, spotted or blotched, referring to relatively indistinct pale blotching on upper disc in contrast to clearly defined, small circular white spots in symmetric pattern of L. circularis

Leucoraja melitensis (Clark 1926)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Malta, type locality (Melite is the ancient Greek name for Malta)

Leucoraja naevus (Müller & Henle 1841)    mark or spot, probably referring to large roundish black eye-spot in middle of each pectoral fin

Leucoraja ocellata (Mitchill 1815)    with eye-like spots, referring to large white ocellus usually (but not always) near posterior angle of pectoral fin

Leucoraja pristispina Last, Stehmann & Séret 2008    pristis, saw; spina, thorn or backbone, referring to rows of thorns along midline of disc and tail

Leucoraja virginica (McEachran 1977)    -ica, belonging to: referring to distribution largely off the coast of Virginia, USA, from Cape Hatteras (North Carolina) to Nantucket Shoals (Massachusetts)

Leucoraja wallacei (Hulley 1970)    in honor of J. H. Wallace, Oceanographic Research Institute (Durban), whose 1967 study of east coast South African rajiform fishes is a companion to Wallace’s 1970 study covering the west and south coasts

Leucoraja yucatanensis (Bigelow & Schroeder 1950)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: the northeastern slope of Yucatán, only known distribution

Malacoraja Stehmann 1970    malakós, soft or fine, referring to dense, velvet-like covering of fine dermal denticles on upper surface of type species Raja mollis (=Malaoraja spinacidermis); raia, Latin for ray or skate

Malacoraja kreffti (Stehmann 1977)    in honor of Gerhard Krefft (1912-1993), Institutes für Seefischerei, Hamburg, for his numerous publications on zoogeography and taxonomy of cartilaginous fishes (particularly the Rajidae) and Atlantic meso- and bathypelagic bony fishes; for his leadership of the Ichthyology Group of the Institute of Sea Fisheries and its extensive scientific fish reference collection; and for his knowledge and encouragement during more than 10 years of collaboration with Stehmann

Malacoraja obscura de Carvalho, Gomes & Gadig 2005    dark or indistinct, referring to subtle nature of differences separating this species from its congeners

Malacoraja senta Garman 1885    sentis, briar, referring to numerous hooked spines of dorsal surface and in front of each eye

Malacoraja spinacidermis (Barnard 1923)    spina, thorn; akis, point; derma, skin, referring to fine, closely-set spinules on entire upper surface of disc and upper and lateral surfaces of tail

Neoraja McEachran & Compagno 1982    neo-, new, literally a new genus of Raja

Neoraja africana (Stehmann & Séret 1983)    referring to type locality off Central West Africa, with which it geographically links the Northeastern and Southeastern Atlantic representatives of the genus

Neoraja caerulea (Stehmann 1976)    blue, referring to blue-purple color of dorsal surface, obvious at first glance in trawl catches and even persistent for a long time after preservation in formalin and ethanol

Neoraja carolinensis McEachran & Stehmann 1984    -ensis, suffix denoting place: the Carolinian Province of the Western North Atlantic, type locality

Neoraja iberica Stehmann, Séret, Costa & Baro 2008    -ica, belonging to: Iberian Peninsula of Portgual and Spain

Neoraja stehmanni (Hulley 1972)    in honor of skate taxonomist Matthias Stehmann, Institut für Seefishereri (Hamburg)

Okamejei Ishiyama 1958    Okame, Japanese vernacular for “female with low-nose,” presumably referring to its relatively shorter snout; jei, Japanese for skate and ray

Okamejei acutispina (Ishiyama 1958)    acutus, sharp or pointed; spina, thorn, presumably referring to nuchal and tail spines

Okamejei arafurensis Last & Gledhill 2008    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Arafura Sea, referring to its distribution from southwest of Scott Reef (Western Australia), north to the Arafura Sea off the Northern Territory

Okamejei boesemani (Ishihara 1987)    in honor of ichthyologist Marinus Boeseman (1916-2006), Leiden University, without whom Ishihara would not have been aware of problems in the systematics of Japanese Raja

Okamajei cairae Last, Fahmi & Ishihara 2010    in honor of parasitologist Janine Caira, who coordinated the collection of important chondrichthyan material in Borneo, including most of the type series of this species, during her “quest” to describe the metazoan parasites of these animals

Okamejei heemstrai (McEachran & Fechhelm 1982)    in honor of ichthyologist Phillip C. Heemstra, Rhodes University (Grahamstown), who furnished specimens of the new species and for being “extremely cooperative” in supplying the authors with elasmobranch material from South Africa

Okamejei hollandi (Jordan & Richardson 1909)    in honor of zoologist-paleontologist William J. Holland (1848-1932), Director of the Carnegie Museum, for supporting the authors’ study of Taiwanese fishes

Okamejei jensenae Last & Lim 2010    in honor of cestode parasitologist Kirsten Jensen, for her field surveys of Bornean fish markets, during which she captured digital images of chondrichthyan specimens for a field guide to the sharks and rays of Borneo

Okamejei kenojei (Müller & Henle 1841)    keno-ei, Japanese name for this skate

Okamejei leptoura Last & Gledhill 2008    leptos, fine, thin or delicate; oura, tail, referring to thin, somewhat filamentous tail

Okamejei meerdervoortii (Bleeker 1860)    in honor of Johannes Lijdius Catharinus Pompe van Meerdervoort (1829-1908), Dutch physician based in Nagasaki, Japan, who collected for Bleeker

Okamejei mengae Jeong, Nakabo & Wu 2007    in honor of Qing-Wen Meng, for her great contributions to elasmobranch studies in China

Okamejei philipi (Lloyd 1906)    patronym not identified, nor can identity be inferred based on available information

Okamejei pita (Fricke & Al-Hassan 1995)    pita, a “tasty Arabian bread” with brown spots, referring to its pita-like shape and coloration

Okamejei powelli (Alcock 1898)    in honor of Lt. Frederick Thomas Powell of the Indian Navy, “a colleague, in the old Marine Survey branch of the service, of Captain [Robert] Moresby,” hydrographer, maritime surveyor and draughtsman

Okamejei schmidti (Ishiyama 1958)    presumably in honor of Soviet ichthyologist Peter J. Schmidt, who identified this skate as Raja fusca (=O. kenojei) in 1931

Raja Linnaeus 1758    raia, Latin for ray or skate

Raja ackleyi Garman 1881    in honor of Lieut. Seth M. Ackley (1849-1908), United States Navy, “to whose energy and enthusiasm we were indebted for much valuable assistance”

Raja africana Capapé 1977    African, presumably referring to distribution off coasts of Mauritania and Tunisia

Raja asterias Delaroche 1809    starry, referring to its many small white spots

Raja bahamensis Bigelow & Schroeder 1965    -ensis, suffix denoting place: the Bahama Banks, type locality

Raja binoculata Girard 1855    bi-, two; oculatus, eyed, referring to prominent eyespot at base of each pectoral fin

Raja brachyura Lafont 1873    brachys, short; oura, tail, referring to its thick, short tail

Raja cervigoni Bigelow & Schroeder 1964    in honor of ichthyologist and marine biologist Fernando Cervigón, Estacion de Investigaciones Marinas de Margarita, for the opportunity to describe the Venezuelan specimens

Raja chinensis Basilewsky 1855    -ensis, suffix denoting place: northern China, type locality

Raja clavata Linnaeus 1758    club-shaped, referring to scattered club-shaped prickles on body

Raja cortezensis McEachran & Miyake 1988    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Sea of Cortez (also known as Gulf of California), where it is endemic

Raja eglanteria Bosc 1800    eglantina, the briar rose, referring to small but very sharp spines covering dorsal surface

Raja equatorialis Jordan & Bollman 1890    of the equator, referring to type locality off west coast of Colombia between Panama and the Galapagos Islands

Raja herwigi Krefft 1965     presumably named after research vessel Walther Herwig, from which type was collected, and not Walther Herwig (1838-1912), founder of German fisheries science, for whom research vessel was named

Raja inornata Jordan & Gilbert 1881    unadorned, referring to the smoothness of disc

Raja karagea Tanaka 1927    same-karagea, local name for this species (and for Bathyraja isotrachys) among fishermen of Kesen, Rikuzen Province, Japan             

Raja macrorynchus Rafinesque 1810    macro-, long; rhynchos, snout, presumably referring to its attenuated snout (“muso attenuato”)

Raja maderensis Lowe 1838    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Madeira, type locality

Raja microocellata Montagu 1818    micro-, small; ocellata, having little eyes, referring to its conspicuously small eyes

Raja miraletus Linnaeus 1758   latinization of the French mirallet, mirror, presumably referring to mirror-like image of eyespots on both sides of pectoral fins

Raja montagui Fowler 1910   in honor of British naturalist George Montagu (1753-1815), who described this species (posthumously) in 1818 but used a preoccupied name, Raja (=Narcine) maculata

Raja polystigma Regan 1923    poly-, many; stigma, mark or spot, referring to numerous black spots on dorsal surface

Raja pulchra Liu 1932    beautiful or lovely, perhaps referring to mottled color pattern

Raja radula Delaroche 1809    scraper, referring to coarse spinules covering dorsal surface

Raja rhina Jordan & Gilbert 1880    double meaning: rhine, rasp, referring to body prickles, which are largest and most stellate on its very long rhino-, snout

Raja rondeleti Bougis 1959    in honor of anatomist-naturalist Guillaume Rondelet (1507-1566), who recognized the distinctiveness of this ray in 1554 but assumed it was a juvenile Raja (=Leocoraja) fullonica

Raja rouxi Capapé 1977    in honor of Charles Roux, Under-Secretary, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris)

Raja stellulata Jordan & Gilbert 1880    stellula, a small star, referring to numerous star-shaped prickles covering dorsal surface

Raja straeleni Poll 1951    in honor of paleontologist-carcinologist Victor van Straelen (1889-1964), Director, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and president of the non-profit organization (Mbizi) that sponsored expedition that collected type; in addition, he accompanied one of the expedition’s trawling cruises trawler off the mouth of the Congo

Raja texana Chandler 1921    -ana, belonging to: American state of Texas, type locality in Gulf of Mexico, off jetties in Galveston

Raja undulata Lacepède 1802    referring to numerous undulating dusky streaks

Raja velezi Chirichigno F. 1973    in honor of Juan Vélez D., Instituto del Mar del Perú, for his dedication to ichthyology and for collaborating with Chirichigno F.

Rajella Stehmann 1970    diminutive of Raja, referring to small size of type species R. fyllae

Rajella alia (Garman 1899)    etymology not explained, presumably from alias, otherwise called, referring to its also being known as Raja ackleyi

Rajella annandalei (Weber 1913)    in honor of zoologist-anthropologist Thomas Nelson Annandale (1876-1924), Director, Indian Museum (Calcutta)

Rajella barnardi (Norman 1935)    in honor of Keppel Harcourt Barnard (1887-1964), South African Museum; reason not given but likely for his 1925-27 monograph on South African marine fishes, which Norman repeatedly cited, for the loan of rays from the South African Museum, and/or for the “kindly interest” he has shown in Norman’s work

Rajella bathyphila (Holt & Byrne 1908)    bathys, deep; philios, loving, i.e., lover of the deep, referring to its deepwater (up to 2050 m) habitat

Rajella bigelowi (Stehmann 1978)    in honor of the late Henry B. Bigelow (1879–1967), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who, with William C. Schroeder, wrote numerous standard-setting publications on cartilaginous fishes, especially among the rajid fauna of the Western Atlantic; by resurrecting R. bathyphila, Bigelow and Schroeder provided the first comprehensive description and illustrations of this new species

Rajella caudaspinosa (von Bonde & Swart 1923)    cauda, tail; spinosa, spines, referring to two belts of numerous, minute spines on sides of upper half of tail, and one single row of spines on lower half

Rajella challengeri Last & Stehmann 2008    in honor of the Tasmanian research vessel FRV Challenger, for its contributions to the knowledge of Australian deepwater demersal fishes

Rajella dissimilis (Hulley 1970)    different, only skate in southern Atlantic with a marked reduction or loss of mid-dorsal thorns from disc to tail

Rajella eisenhardti Long & McCosker 1999    in honor of E. Roy Eisenhardt, director emeritus of the California Academy of Sciences, for “generously” assisting the authors and their colleagues

Rajella fuliginea (Bigelow & Schroeder 1954)     sooty or painted black, referring to “sooty chocolate to nearly black” ventral coloration

Rajella fyllae (Lütken 1887)    of Fylla, name of Danish cruiser that collected type

Rajella kukujevi (Dolganov 1985)    in honor of ichthyologist E. I. Kukuev (also spelled Kukujev and Kukuyev), Atlantic Scientific Research Institute of Marine Fisheries & Oceanography (AtlantNIRO)

Rajella leopardus (von Bonde & Swart 1923)    referring to numerous dark brown, nearly black spots on tail and disc, the “whole effect [of which] resembles the appearance of a leopard skin”

Rajella lintea (Fries 1838)    of linen, referring to pale or gray coloration, said to resemble a linen sail

Rajella nigerrima (de Buen 1960)    blackish, referring to dark dorsal surface

Rajella paucispinosa Weigmann, Stehmann & Thiel 2014    paucus, few; spinosus, thorny, referring to small number of thorns on dorsal surface compared to congeners

Rajella purpuriventralis (Bigelow & Schroeder 1962)    purpureus, purple; ventralis, belly, referring to dark purple to black belly

Rajella ravidula (Hulley 1970)    somewhat gray, referring to pale gray dorsal surface of disc

Rajella sadowskii (Krefft & Stehmann 1974)    in honor of Brazilian ichthyologist Viktor Sadowski, whose works have considerably added to the knowledge of southwestern Atlantic elasmobranchs

Rostroraja Hulley 1972    rostrum, referring to produced and elongate snout; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Rostroraja alba (Lacepède 1803)    albus, white, referring to bright white ventral surface

Zearaja Whitley 1939    etymology not explained, perhaps zea, a kind of grain, referring to its rough disk, or an abbreviation of New Zealand, referring to type locality of Z. nasuta; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Zearaja chilensis Guichenot 1848    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Chile, type locality (but occurs throughout southeastern Pacific and southwestern Atlantic)

Zearaja maugeana Last & Gledhill 2007    -ana, belonging to: Maugean Province, Australian cool temperate biogeographic region in which this skate is a keystone species

Zearaja nasuta (Müller & Henle 1841)    long-nosed, referring to its produced snout

Subfamily ARHYNCHOBATINAE Softnose Skates
14 genera/subgenera • 103 species

Arhynchobatis Waite 1909    a-, without; rhynchos, snout, referring to “absence of a cartilaginous rostral”; batis, skate or ray

Arhynchobatis asperrimus Waite 1909    rough, referring to skin on dorsal surface “everywhere covered with closely set spines”

Atlantoraja Menni 1972    Atlanto, referring to distribution of A. castelnaui and A. cyclophora in southwestern Atlantic Ocean; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Atlantoraja castelnaui (Miranda Ribeiro 1907)    in honor of Francisco de Castelnau (1810-1880), French naturalist who studied the fishes of Brazil

Atlantoraja cyclophora (Regan 1903)    cyclo, circle; phora, to bear, referring to ocellus formed by two concentric black circles on each pectoral fin

Atlantoraja platana (Günther 1880)    -ana, belonging to: referring to mouth of the Río de la Plata (between Uruguay and Argentina), type locality

Bathyraja Ishiyama 1958    bathy, deep, referring to deepwater habitat of B. trachouros; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Subgenus Bathyraja

Bathyraja abyssicola (Gilbert 1896)    abyss, deep sea; -cola, dweller or inhabitant, referring to deepwater habitat (type collected at 1588 fathoms)

Bathyraja aguja (Kendall & Radcliffe 1912)    referring to Point Aguja, Peru, type locality

Bathyraja albomaculata (Norman 1937)    albus, white; maculatus, spotted, referring to dorsal surface scattered with small, rounded white spots

Bathyraja aleutica (Gilbert 1896)    -ica, belonging to: the Aleutians (specifically, Sannak Island), type locality

Bathyraja andriashevi Dolganov 1983    in honor of Soviet ichthyologist Anatoly Petrovich Andriashev (1910-2009)

Bathyraja bergi Dolganov 1983    in honor of the “great” ichthyologist Lev (also Leo) Semyonovich Berg (1876-1950), “who first gave a description of this species”

Bathyraja brachyurops (Fowler 1910)    -opsis, like, a replacement name for the preoccupied Raja brachyura Günther 1880, brachys, short; oura, tail, referring to “remarkably short and stout” tail

Bathyraja caeluronigricans Ishiyama & Ishihara 1977    caeluro-, purplish (according to authors); nigricans, blackish, referring to color of dorsal surface

Bathyraja cousseauae Díaz de Astarloa & Mabragaña 2004    in honor of María Berta Cousseau (Departamento de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina), for her contribution to the marine fishes of Argentina

Bathyraja diplotaenia (Ishiyama 1952)    diplo, double; taen, band or ribbon, referring to how ventral fin is divided into “double ribbons” (i.e., deeply notched between anterior and posterior lobes)

Bathyraja eatonii (Günther 1876)    in honor of naturalist and explorer Rev. Alfred Edmund Eaton (1845-1929), who collected type

Bathyraja fedorovi Dolganov 1983    in honor of the “well-known” Soviet ichthyologist Vladimir Vladimirovich Federov, who collected type

Bathyraja griseocauda (Norman 1937)    griseus, gray; cauda, tail, referring to grayish-brown color of entire or lower surface of tail

Bathyraja hesperafricana Stehmann 1995    hesper, westerly, referring to West African distribution on the Eastern Central Atlantic slope

Bathyraja interrupta (Gill & Townsend 1897)    interrupted, referring to row of acutely curved, smooth spines along middle of back, extending from interhumeral region to dorsal, but are “interrupted” along posterior half of disc, where spines are “absent or obsolete”

Bathyraja irrasa Hureau & Ozouf-Costaz 1980    unshaven, referring to rough, wrinkled surface appearance

Bathyraja ishiharai Stehmann 2005    in honor of Hajime Ishihara, Stehmann’s “skatology” colleague and friend for more than 25 years, who devoted his life’s research to chondrichthyan fishes, producing important revisions of North Pacific Bathyraja

Bathyraja isotrachys (Günther 1877)    iso-, equal; trachys, rough, presumably referring to body and tail both covered with “minute asperities, each with a stellate base”

Bathyraja leucomelanos Iglésias & Lévy-Hartmann 2012    leucos, white; melanos, black, referring to coloration of dorsal and ventral surfaces, respectively              

Bathyraja lindbergi Ishiyama & Ishihara 1977    in honor of the late Georgii Ustinovich Lindberg, ichthyologist, for his “great work” on western North Pacific zoogeography

Bathyraja longicauda (de Buen 1959)    longus, long; cauda, tail, referring to long caudal region, 52.9% of total length in holotype

Bathyraja maccaini Springer 1971   in honor of Antarctic zoologist John C. McCain (note latinization of “Mc” to “Mac”), collector of the type, aboard the M/V Hero in 1967

Bathyraja macloviana (Norman 1937)    -iana, adjectival suffix: presumably referring to Maclov, one of the Falkland Islands, where this species occurs

Bathyraja maculata Ishiyama & Ishihara 1977    blotched, referring to color markings on dorsal surface

Bathyraja magellanica (Philippi 1902)    -ica, belonging to: Straits of Magellan, type locality

Bathyraja mariposa Stevenson, Orr, Hoff & McEachran 2004    Spanish for butterfly, referring to large yellow patches on pectoral fins, which on some specimens approximate shape of butterfly wings, and on all specimens resemble elaborate shading patterns often seen on butterfly wings

Bathyraja matsubarai (Ishiyama 1952)    in honor of ichthyologist Kiyomatsu Matsubara (1907-1968), Imperial Fisheries Institute (Tokyo), who collected one of the paratypes at a fish market, and “to whom the author is much indebted for many favours”

Bathyraja meridionalis Stehmann 1987    southerly, referring to its being the southernmost deepwater species of the genus

Bathyraja minispinosa Ishiyama & Ishihara 1977    mini-, minute; spinosa, full of thorns, referring to fine prickles on dorsal surface, which are smooth to the touch

Bathyraja multispinis (Norman 1937)    multi-, many; spinus, spine, probably referring to median series of 42 spines extending from nuchal region to first dorsal fin

Bathyraja murrayi (Günther 1880)    in honor of John Murray (1841-1914, later the founder of modern oceanography), of the HMS Challenger, which secured type

Bathyraja notoroensis Ishiyama & Ishihara 1977    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Notoro Peninsula, Sea of Japan, type locality

Bathyraja pallida (Forster 1967)    pallid, referring to “unusually pale” coloration of dorsal surface

Bathyraja papilionifera Stehmann 1985    papilio, butterfly; fero, to bear, referring to butterfly-shaped dark blotch around anus

Bathyraja peruana McEachran & Miyake 1984    -ana, belonging to: Peru, referring to Point Aguja, type locality

Bathyraja richardsoni (Garrick 1961)    in honor of L. R. Richardson, Victoria University of Wellington, “for his extensive contribution to deep water research in New Zealand, and especially in Cook Strait where the type specimen was taken”

Bathyraja scaphiops (Norman 1937)    etymology not explained; presumably scaphio-, cup; -ops, face or appearance, based on “Cuphead Skate” vernacular, allusion not evident

Bathyraja schroederi (Krefft 1968)    in honor of William C. Schroeder (1895-1977), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, for his outstanding contribution to the study of western Atlantic elasmobranchs

Bathyraja shuntovi Dolganov 1985     in honor of Russian zoologist Vyacheslav Shuntov

Bathyraja simoterus (Ishiyama 1967)    simus, flat-nosed; teres, rubbed off, referring to very blunt snout with broad tip

Bathyraja smithii (Müller & Henle 1841)    in honor of Andrew Smith (1797-1872), Scottish military physician, explorer, ethnologist and zoologist, who collected type

Bathyraja spinicauda (Jensen 1914)    spina, thorn; cauda, tail, referring to erect and “slightly bent backwards” spines along middle of tail

Bathyraja spinosissima (Beebe & Tee-Van 1941)    most spiny, referring to dorsal and ventral surfaces “covered thickly and evenly with small, recurved spines” and tail “covered everywhere with small spines, even over the surface of the dorsal fins”

Bathyraja taranetzi (Dolganov 1983)    in honor of the “eminent expert” on fishes of the far-eastern seas of the U.S.S.R., Anatoly Yakovlevich Taranetz

Bathyraja trachouros (Ishiyama 1958)    trachys, rough; oura, tail, probably referring to 20 “enlarged thorns” along middle of tail

Bathyraja trachura (Gilbert 1892)    trachys, rough; oura, tail, referring to strong spines on middle of tail

Bathyraja tunae Stehmann 2005    in honor of M.Sc. student Lic. María Cristina Oddone F., nicknamed “Tuna,” the “most enthusiastic elasmobranch student” Stehmann has ever met; “The author wishes her luck in her further career, and that all her dreams may come true.”

Bathyraja tzinovskii Dolganov 1983    in honor of Arctic oceanographer Vladimir Diodorovich Tzinovskiy (also spelled Tzinovsky), who collected type

Bathyraja violacea (Suvorov 1935)    violet-colored, referring to lilac-violet hues and dark violet vermiculations on dorsal surface

Subgenus Arctoraja Ishiyama 1958    arcto-, north, referring to distribution in the North Pacific; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Bathyraja panthera Orr, Stevenson, Hoff, Spies & McEachran 2011    leopard, referring to distinctive dorsal coloration, often characterized by rosettes of black spots surrounding yellow blotches              

Bathyraja parmifera (Bean 1881)     parma, shield; fero, to bear, probably referring to median row of large spines on back and tail

Bathyraja smirnovi    (Soldatov & Pavlenko 1915)    in honor of “Mr. Smirnov,” Inspector of Fishes, who collected fishes from the Sea of Okhotsk           

Bathyraja simoterus (Ishiyama 1967)    simus, flat-nosed; teres, rubbed off, referring to very blunt snout with broad tip  

Brochiraja Last & McEachran 2006    brochus, projection, referring to projecting thorns on anterior snout; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Brochiraja aenigma Last & McEachran 2006    enigmatic, referring to its unresolved taxonomic status (generic placement is provisional since post-juvenile holotype lacks bifurcated thorn on mid-distal rostral cartilage, a diagnostic feature of the genus)

Brochiraja albilabiata Last & McEachran 2006    albus, white; labiatus, lipped, referring to distinctive, white-edged mouth, which is strongly contrasted against a very dark, beard-like patch beneath the mouth

Brochiraja asperula (Garrick & Paul 1974)    diminutive of asper, rough, referring to “meagre development of prickles on the disc”

Brochiraja heuresa Last & Séret 2012    latinized from the Greek heuresis (that which is found, discovered), based on the ancient Greek Heureka (“I have found it”) or, in modern English, “Eureka,” referring to its being discovered among a collection of skates the authors initially thought represented a different species, B. aenigma                  

Brochiraja leviveneta Last & McEachran 2006    levis, smooth or bald; venetus, sea-coloured or blue, referring to color of dorsal disc

Brochiraja microspinifera Last & McEachran 2006    micro-, small, being a dwarfed version of its larger New Zealand sibling species, B. spinifera

Brochiraja spinifera (Garrick & Paul 1974)    spina, thorn; fero, to bear, referring to numerous spines on tail

Brochiraja vittacauda Last & Séret 2012    vitta, ribbon; cauda, tail, referring to unusually broad, ribbon-like lateral skin folds that terminate near its tip

Irolita Whitley 1931    etymology not explained; presumably from Irolita, a fairy tail princess whose beauty was worthy of the world’s admiration

Irolita waitii (McCulloch 1911)    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of zoologist and museum director Edgar R. Waite (1866-1928), who works on fishes are frequently cited by McCulloch

Irolita westraliensis Last & Gledhill 2008    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Western Australia, only known distribution

Notoraja Ishiyama 1958    etymology not explained, perhaps notos, back, referring to numerous prickles on dorsal surface, or notos, south, referring to occurrence of N. tobitukai in “southernmost regions within the seas inhabited by the northern members” of Breviraja; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Notoraja alisae Séret & Last 2012    of research vessel Alis (named for a local wind) Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) in Nouméa, which conducted many exploratory cruises in New Caledonia, from which type was collected   

Notoraja azurea McEachran & Last 2008    latinization of the French azura (blue), referring to striking, metallic blue dorsal coloration

Notoraja fijiensis Séret & Last 2012     -ensis, suffix denoting place: Fiji Islands, type locality

Notoraja hirticauda Last & McEachran 2006    hirtus, rough or bristly; cauda, tail, referring to dense covering of fine denticles on both surfaces of tail

Notoraja inusitata Séret & Last 2012    unusual or strange, referring to its “strange” appearance, i.e., head and disk morphology resembling some species of Sinobatis, Bathyraja and Insentiraja

Notoraja lira McEachran & Last 2008    earth or ridge thrown up by a plough, referring to type locality, the Broken Ridge (southeast Indian Ocean), an elevated plateau thrust upward at the juncture of two continental plates

Notoraja longiventralis Séret & Last 2012    longus, long; ventralis, ventral, referring to very long anterior lobe of pelvic fin       

Notoraja ochroderma McEachran & Last 1994    ochro, pale yellow; derma, skin, referring to pale yellow color

Notoraja sapphira Séret & Last 2009    referring to intense blue dorsal coloration, resembling that of a dark sapphire (gemstone)

Notoraja sticta McEachran & Last 2008    stiktos, spotted or dappled, referring to strong blotched dorsal coloration

Notoraja tobitukai (Hiyama 1940)    in honor of T. Tobituka, under whose direction the trawling fishery survey collected the type

Pavoraja Whitley 1939    pavo, peacock, likely referring to ornate coloration with small eyespots; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Subgenus Pavoraja

Pavoraja alleni McEachran & Fechhelm 1982    in honor of ichthyologist Gerald R. Allen (b. 1942), Western Australia Museum (Perth), who furnished the authors with specimens

Pavoraja arenaria Last, Mallick & Yearsley 2008    sandy, referring to pale dorsal disc coloration

Pavoraja mosaica Last, Mallick & Yearsley 2008    mosaicus, an inlay of various colors and geometric patterns, referring to striking dorsal coloration

Pavoraja nitida (Günther 1880)    elegant, probably referring to color pattern: light and dark brown with dark brown blotches “ornamented” by small, round yellowish ocelli

Pavoraja pseudonitida Last, Mallick & Yearsley 2008    pseudo-, false, referring to superficial resemblance to P. nitida

Pavoraja umbrosa Last, Mallick & Yearsley 2008    shady, referring to uniform grayish coloration of dorsal surface of disc

Subgenus Insentiraja Yearsley & Last 1992    in-, without; sentis, thorn, referring to absence of thorns on tail and middorsal regions of disc; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Pavoraja laxipella Yearsley & Last 1992    laxus, loose; pellis, skin, referring to flabby integument of ventral surface

Pavoraja subtilispinosa (Stehmann 1989)    subtilis, very fine; spinosus, spinulose, referring to velvet-like dermal denticles

Psammobatis Günther 1870    psammos, sand, referring to Sandy Point, Magellan Strait, Argentina, type locality of P. rudis; batis, skate or ray

Psammobatis bergi Marini 1932   in honor of Carlos Berg (1843-1902), foremost (“el primor”) ichthyologist specializing in the study of Argentina’s freshwater and marine fishes (Argentina being the type locality for this species)

Psammobatis extenta (Garman 1913)    extended, presumably referring to its long tail, “extended behind the dorsals,” longer and more slender than tail of Raja (=Leucoraja) erinacea

Psammobatis lentiginosa McEachran 1983     freckled, referring to small spots scattered over dorsal surface of disc and tail

Psammobatis normani McEachran 1983    in honor of ichthyologist J. R. (John Roxborough) Norman (1898-1944), British Museum (Natural History), who first described this ray, but identified it as P. scobina, in 1937

Psammobatis parvacauda McEachran 1983    parvus, small; cauda, tail, referring to small tail, the smallest in genus

Psammobatis rudis Günther 1870    rough, referring to minute spinous tubercles, placed close together, covering all upper parts

Psammobatis rutrum Jordan 1891    shovel, probably referring to bluntly rounded snout with a short, sharply pointed fleshy tip

Psammobatis scobina (Philippi 1857)    rasp, probably referring to rasp-like quality of small sharp spines on dorsal surface

Pseudoraja Bigelow & Schroeder 1954    a pseudo-, or false, Raja: authors believed lack of dorsal fin and well-developed caudal fin on P. fischeri were sufficiently distinct to forbid its placement in Rajidae

Pseudoraja fischeri Bigelow & Schroeder 1954    in honor of zoological artist E. N. Fischer, for the “skillful portrayals of elasmobranchs” featured in many publications by Bigelow and Schroeder

Rhinoraja Ishiyama 1952    rhino, nose, referring to “peculiar” rostral cartilage that projects forward with slender rod-like bar at tip of snout; raia, Latin for ray or skate

Rhinoraja kujiensis (Tanaka 1916)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Kuji, Ibarabi Prefecture, Japan, type locality

Rhinoraja longicauda Ishiyama 1952    longus, long; cauda, tail, referring to pre-dorsal tail length, which is always longer than the disc

Rhinoraja obtusa (Gill & Townsend 1897)    blunt, referring to bluntly rounded snout

Rhinoraja odai Ishiyama 1958    latinization of Japanese vernacular, Oda-ei

Rioraja Whitley 1939    meaning of rio- not explained, perhaps allusion to Rio de Janeiro (type species was described from Brazil); raia, Latin for ray or skate

Rioraja agassizii (Müller & Henle 1841)    in honor of zoologist-geologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), at the time the leading authority on Brazilian fishes

Sympterygia Müller & Henle 1837    symphysis, grown together; pteryx, fin, referring to how pectoral fins meet at the tip of snout

Sympterygia acuta Garman 1877    sharp, referring to acute and greatly produced snout

Sympterygia bonapartii Müller & Henle 1841    in honor of biologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte (1803-1857), whose 1834 treatise on the fauna of Italy introduced several new sharks and rays to science

Sympterygia brevicaudata (Cope 1877)    brevi-, short; cauda-, tail, “only one-fifth longer than the claspers”

Sympterygia lima (Poeppig 1835)    file, presumably referring to short tail, which resembles a triangular file


Family ANACANTHOBATIDAE Smooth Skates
5 genera/subgenera • 12 species

Anacanthobatis von Bonde & Swart 1923    a-, without, akantha, thorn, referring to smooth skin of A. marmoratus; batis, skate or ray

Subgenus Anacanthobatis

Anacanthobatis longirostris Bigelow & Schroeder 1962    longus, long; rostris, snout, referring to longer snout compared to A. americanus

Anacanthobatis marmoratus (von Bonde & Swart 1923)    marbled, referring to profuse mottling of very small, round white spots

Subgenus Schroederobatis Hulley 1973    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of William C. Schroeder (1895-1977), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, co-author of type species, A. americanus; batis, skate or ray

Anacanthobatis americanus Bigelow & Schroeder 1962    American, referring to distribution off Atlantic coasts of Central and South America

Subgenus Springeria Bigelow & Schroeder 1951    in honor of Stewart Springer (1906-1991), for his “productive studies of the elasmobranchs of Florida and the Gulf”

Anacanthobatis borneensis Chan 1965    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Borneo, referring to type locality near Sarawak, Borneo, in the South China Sea

Anacanthobatis donghaiensis (Deng, Xiong & Zhan 1983)    -ensis, suffix denoting place: Dōng Hǎi, Chinese name for East China Sea, type locality

Anacanthobatis folirostris (Bigelow & Schroeder 1951)    foli-, leaf; rostris, snout, referring to peculiar leaf-like extension at end of snout

Anacanthobatis stenosoma (Li & Hu 1982)    steno, narrow; soma, body, referring to long and narrow disc

Indobatis Weigmann, Stehmann & Thiel 2014    Indo-, referring to distribution in the western Indian Ocean; batis, skate or ray

Indobatis ori (Wallace 1967)    acronym of the Oceanographic Research Institute (Durban, South Africa), under whose auspices this species was collected and described

Sinobatis Hulley 1973    Sino-, of Sinica (China), probably referring to South China Sea distribution of S. melanosoma and S. (=Acanthobatis) borneensis; batis, skate or ray

Sinobatis bulbicauda Last & Séret 2008    bulbus, swelling; cauda, tail or appendage, referring to flattened expansion of tail near tip

Sinobatis caerulea Last & Séret 2008    blue, referring to blue dorsal and ventral coloration

Sinobatis filicauda Last & Séret 2008    filum, thread; cauda, tail, referring to thread-like tail tip

Sinobatis melanosoma (Chan 1965)    melanos, black; soma, body, referring to dorsally blackish to blackish-brown disc