Image: Melbourne Skate, Spiniraja whitleyi

Melbourne Skate, Spiniraja whitleyi

A Melbourne Skate caught by FRV Kapala at a depth of about 275 m, east of Merimbula, New South Wales, 03 July 1979 (AMS I.30385-001).

Ken Graham
© Ken Graham @ DPI Fisheries


Skates can be separated from the stingrays by their bi-lobed pelvic fins and lacking a stinging spine.  They differ from the stingarees by the aforementioned characters and also by lacking the characteristic leaf-like lobe on the end of the tail.

The Melbourne Skate differs from other Australian species of skates by lacking orbital thorns (spines just in front of the eyes) and having a uniformly spiny lower surface in individuals over about 20 cm in disc width.

Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Edition 2. CSIRO. Pp. 644, Pl. 1-91.

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Tags fishes, ichthyology, Spiniraja whitleyi, Melbourne Skate, Rajidae, bi-lobed pelvic fins, lack a stinging spine, lack orbital thorns, lack leaf-like lobe, skate, marine, adult,