Little Skate


Little Skate - Leucoraja erinacea

*Information from FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes - The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Atlantic*

Little skate
Diagnostic Characteristics

Lateral most margins of disk more rounded than angular; snout more blunt than pointed; middorsal thorns absent in adults, except immediately posterior to interorbital region; dorsal surface of disk with small dusky spots; upper jaw with 70 or fewer series of teeth (typically 55 or fewer). Disk only slightly wider than long; dorsal fins equal in size and located near tip of tail; caudal fin represented by dermal fold extending over tip of tail; triangular patch of thorns present posterior to eye; 2 or 3 rows of thorns present on either side of dorsal midline and extending onto tail. Grayish to dusky brown dorsally; ventral grayish white.

Size
Maximum adult size 53 cm disk width (1.7 ft)
Habitat, biology, and fisheries
Common in shallow waters along the coast, it has also been collected at depths greater than 150m. It feeds on bottom-dwelling organisms such as crabs, shrimps, polychaetes, sea squirts, mollusks, squids and bony fishes. Caught incidentally with bottom trawls and rod and reel.
Distribution
Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Hatteras but most abundant from Georges Bank to Delaware Bay.