Grey skate

Grey skate
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Rajiformes
Family: Rajidae
Genus: Dipturus
D. canutus
Binomial name
Dipturus canutus
Last, 2008

The grey skate (Dipturus canutus) is a species of fish in the family Rajidae.[2][3] It was described in 2008 by Australian ichthyologist Peter R. Last.[4]

Australian ichthyologist Peter Last described the grey skate from a specimen collected off Maria Island in Tasmania. The species name is the Latin adjective canutus "grey", referring to its colour.[5]

The grey skate is a medium sized member of the genus, reaching 90 centimetres (35 in) TL. It has grey upperparts, with the snout lateral to the rostral cartilage slightly paler, and paler grey to whitish underparts, with well-demarkated dark markings around the cloaca, internasal flap and chin.[5]

It is found in temperate waters off southern Australia, from Eucla in Western Australia around to Crowdy Head on the New South Wales north coast.[4] In Tasmanian waters, it has been found from Strahan around to Maria Island, but is not in Bass Strait. It lives at depths of 400–600 metres (1,300–2,000 ft) on the higher continental slope, rarely extending to 300 metres (980 ft) above and 730 metres (2,400 ft) below.[5]

The grey skate is one of four species identified as threatened with extinction by trawling in a 2021 report.[6]

Grey skates get caught up in demersal trawling and automatic longline fishing on the upper parts of the continental slope by the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark fishery and the Great Australian Bight Trawl Fishery. Most die as a result. The Upper Slope Dogfish Management Strategy gives some shelter – around 4,738 square kilometres (1,829 sq mi) between the depths of 200 and 650 metres (660 and 2,130 ft) provide a haven. Little is known about the total population.[7]


  1. ^ Sherman, C.S. 2016. Dipturus canutus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14134315A14134317. Downloaded on 14 March 2021
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Dipturus canutus" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b Australian Biological Resources Study (16 April 2018). "Species Dipturus canutus Last, 2008". Australian Faunal Directory. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Last, P.R. 2008. New short-snout members of the skate genus Dipturus (Rajoidei: Rajidae) from Australian seas. pp. 9–52 in Last, P.R., White, W.T., Pogonoski, J.J. & Gledhill, D.C. (eds). Description of new Australian skates (Batoidea: Rajoidei). CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 021: 1–181 [54]
  6. ^ Readfearn, Graham (15 March 2021). "Threatened Australian shark and skates at 'extreme risk' of being wiped out". Guardian Online. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  7. ^ Daley, Ross K.; Gray, Charles A. "On-the-water management solutions to halt the decline and support the recovery of Australia's endemic elasmobranchs" (PDF). Australian Marine Conservation Society and Humane Society International. Retrieved 18 March 2021.