#Biodiversity150 number 74 of 150 Big Skate fish

74/150: Skates on all year!

Animalia: Chordata: Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii: Rajiformes: Rajidae: Raja: Raja binoculata Girard, 1858

Raja binoculata are commonly known as the big skate reaching a length of 2.4m and weighing 200lbs! They are normally found at depths of 120m but have been known to dive to almost 800m. They feed on various unsuspecting small organisms such as molluscs, shrimp and small fish by burrowing into the sandy bottom to act as a method of camouflage. Big skates are oviparous which means they lay eggs but usually have more than one embryo (max 7!) in these egg capsules called mermaid purses. They also don’t have a specific breeding season and are able to mate as well as lay eggs all year. Even though they breed all year it takes 9 months for the eggs to hatch and the risk of overfishing has landed this species on the near threatened list. Hopefully with the increased effort in surveying and monitoring we can create proper conservation methods to protect these native giants! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Big skate, Raja binoculata along a sandy bottom. Photo Credit: Valerie Mayers goo.gl/1rdG2t
Raja binoculata’s mermaid purse that could house 7 embryos! Photo Credit: Tewy goo.gl/gEa6Xp

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  TZFPB161-05

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAC4758

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