Skates: Clearnose Skate

CLEARNOSE SKATE
Raja eglanteria

 

clearnose skate

Identification
Disc angular, front edges nearly straight or slightly concave; snout pointed. Broad clear areas on both sides of snout (hence the name 'clearnose'). Single mid-dorsal ridge of large spines/denticles. Disc brownish with dark brown bars, streaks, and some spots dorsally and whitish ventrally. Well-developed caudal fin. Dorsal fins present and located on tail.

Habitat and Behavior
Demersal species found most commonly in shallow coastal waters but reported as deep as 1,000 feet of water; sometimes enters lower reaches (high saline) of estuaries and bays.

Feeding
Benthic feeder. Feeds mainly on benthic crustaceans, bivalves, marine worms, squid, and small fishes.

Reproduction
Breed while inshore. Oviparous; females deposit leathery dark-brown translucent egg cases, as many as 66 in a single reproductive season. Empty egg cases are often found washed up on coastal beaches; commonly called 'mermaids purses'.

Size
33 inches total length. Maximum wing span ~ 20 inches.

Human Factors
Non-aggressive species of no danger to humans. Skates do not possess a venomous spine; although, they have multiple thorn-like spines along their tail which could cause injury if handled.



FWC Facts:
In one spawning season a female tarpon may produce from 4.5 million to more than 20 million eggs.

Learn More at AskFWC