Richardson's Skate, Bathyraja richardsoni (Garrick 1961)

Other Names: Deepsea Skate, Richardson’s Ray

Richardson's Skate, Bathyraja richardsoni, on a seamount about 100 nautical miles off the southern coast of Tasmania. Source: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A large uniform grey to brown skate with a diamond-shaped disc that is deeply incised behind the eyes, and pelvic fins that noticeably protrude and are positioned almost wholly behind the disc. Richardson's Skate lacks large thorns on its disc and on the anterior part of its tail. Mature males have prominent alar thorns on the outer dorsal edges of the pectoral fins, and very long claspers.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Bathyraja richardsoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Richardson's Skate, Bathyraja richardsoni (Garrick 1961)

More Info


Seamounts south of Tasmania, including the South Tasman Rise, and off south-western Western Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand and the North Atlantic. This bathydemersal species inhabits the continental slope, submarine rises, and deepwater plains at depths to about 3000 m.


Disc diamond-shaped, deeply incised behind eyes; pelvic fin noticeably protruding, positioned almost wholly behind disc; head broadly triangular; snout pointed; mouth very wide, eyes far apart; snout length/interorbital distance ratio 1.2-1.7; dorsal fins joined, with no gap or intervening thorn; tail very short, 0.7-0.8 times body length; no large thorns on disc; mid-dorsal row of 15-20 thorns on tail only; upper surface entirely covered in fine spinules; lower surface with fine spinules covering snout, abdomen, and underside of tail.


Uniform brownish-grey above; ventral surface similar with pale markings along midline, on pelvic fins, and underside of tail. 


Feeds mostly on fishes, and also consumes some crustaceans.


Females first mature at 159-174 cm TL; males at 120-142 cm TL. An oviparous species (egg layer), with the young born at 18.2−24.5 cm TL.

Species Citation

Raja richardsoni Garrick 1961, Trans. Roy. Soc. N. Z. 88(4): 746. Type locality: South of Cape Palliser, Cook Strait, New Zealand, 47°07'S, 174°57'E.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Richardson's Skate, Bathyraja richardsoni (Garrick 1961)


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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 

Henry, L.A., Stehmann, M.F., De Clippele, L., Findlay, H.S., Golding, N. & Roberts, J.M. 2016. Seamount egg-laying grounds of the deep-water skate Bathyraja richardsoni. Journal of Fish Biology 89(2): 1473-1481

Kulka, D.W., Orlov, A. & Barker, A.S. 2015. Bathyraja richardsoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T63127A70709214. Downloaded on 11 July 2018.

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Last, P.R., Stewart, A.L. & Séret , B. 2016. A new temperate deepwater skate of the genus Bathyraja (Rajoidei: Arhynchobatidae) from the South-West Pacific. Zootaxa 4132(1): 107-117.

Last, P.R., Stehmann, M.F.W., Séret, B. & Weigmann, S. 2016. 20. Softnose Skates. Family Arhynchobatidae, pp. 346-472, in Last, P.R., White, W.T., Carvalho, M.R. de, Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & Naylor, G.J.P. (eds.) Rays of the World. Clayton South, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 790 pp.

Last, P.R., Weigmann, S. & Yang, L. 2016. Changes to the nomenclature of the skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes). pp. 11-34, in Last, P.R. & Yearsley, G.K. (eds). Rays of the World: Supplementary Information. CSIRO Special Publication.

Last, P. R. & Yearsley, G.K. 2002. Zoogeography and relationships of Australasian skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae). Journal of Biogeography 29(12): 1627-1641.

McEachran, J.D. & Dunn, K.A. 1998. Phylogenetic analysis of skates, a morphologically conservative clade of elasmobranchs (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae). Copeia 1998(2): 271-290.

Orlov, A.M. 2011. Record of a tailless Richardson's ray Bathyraja richardsoni (Garrick, 1961) (Rajiformes: Arhynchobatidae) caught off the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Sciences 6(3): 232-236

Patterson, H. & Mazur, K. 2014. South Tasman Rise Trawl Fishery, pp. 281-285 in Georgeson, L., Stobutzki, I. & Curtotti, R. (eds) Fishery status reports 2013-14. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra.

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Weigmann, S. 2016, Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity. Journal of Fish Biology 88(3): 837-1037

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37031046

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:500-3055 m


Max Size:175 cm TL

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