Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2016-06-28

A new temperate deepwater skate of the genus Bathyraja (Rajoidei: Arhynchobatidae) from the South-West Pacific

CSIRO National Research Collections Australia, Australian National Fish Collection, Castray Esplanade, Hobart, TAS, 7001, AUSTRALIA.
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 169 Tory St, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND.
IchtyoConsult, 6 bis rue du Centre, 91430 Igny, FRANCE
Pisces Arhynchobatidae Pacific blonde skate Bathyraja pacifica new species Norfolk Ridge South-West Pacific


A single specimen of a new Bathyraja skate was collected by the authors in 2003 during a survey of the deepwater biota of the northern Tasman Sea by the New Zealand FRV Tangaroa. This skate, labelled the ‘blonde skate’ by voyage participants, is uniformly white on all surfaces of the body and the skin is partly translucent. It belongs to a subgroup of Bathyraja with a large, almost smooth, quadrangular disc and well-developed and equally spaced median tail thorns. Other similar and probably closely related Bathyraja specimens have been caught in seas to the south of New Zealand since the discovery of this species, but their identity is yet to be confirmed.



  1. Francis, M.P. & Lyon, W.S. (2012) Review of research and monitoring studies on New Zealand sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras, 2008–2012. New Zealand Aquatic and Biodiversity Report, 102, 1–70.

    Garrick, J.A.F. (1961) Studies on New Zealand Elasmobranchii. Part XIII—A new species of Raja from 1,300 fathoms. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 88 (4), 743–748.

    Hubbs, C.L. & Ishiyama, R. (1968) Methods for the Taxonomic Study and Description of Skates (Rajidae). Copeia, 1968 (3), 483–491.

    Iglésias, S.P. & Lévy-Hartmann, L. (2012) Bathyraja leucomelanos, a new species of softnose skate (Chondrichthyes: Arhynchobatidae) from New Caledonia. Ichthyological Research, 59 (1), 38–48.

    Last, P.R., White, W.T., Pogonoski, J.J. & Gledhill, D.C. (2008) New Australian skates—background and methodology, 1–8. In: Descriptions of New Australian Skates (Batoidea: Rajoidei). CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper, 021, 181 pp.

    Last, P.R., Stehmann, M.F.W., Séret, B. & Weigmann, S. (2016) Chapter 20. Softnose Skates, Family Arhynchobatidae. In: Last, P.R., White, W.T., de Carvalho, M.R., Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & Naylor, G.J.P. (Eds.), Rays of the World. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. [in press]

    McEachran, J.D. & Fechhelm, J.D. (1982) A new species of skate from Western Australia with comments on the status of Pavoraja Whitley, 1939 (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 95, 1–12.

    Stewart, A.L. & Last, P.R. (2015) Family Arhynchobatidae. In: Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (Eds.), The fishes of New Zealand. Vol 2. Te Papa Press, Wellington, pp. 180–195.

    Williams, A., Gowlett-Holmes, K. & Althaus, F. (2006) Biodiversity survey of seamounts & slopes of the Norfolk Ridge and Lord Howe Rise. Final report to the Departments of the Environment and Heritage (National Oceans Office). New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries, NIWA and Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage, 203 pp.

How to Cite

LAST, P. R., STEWART, A. L., & SÉRET, B. (2016). A new temperate deepwater skate of the genus <em>Bathyraja</em> (Rajoidei: Arhynchobatidae) from the South-West Pacific. Zootaxa, 4132(1), 107–117.