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Raia australis, Macleay, 1884
Scottish-Australian naturalist William John Macleay described the species as Raja australis in 1884, from specimens collected from a trawl off the south head of Botany Bay. He was excited by the find of a skate species in Sydney waters and wondered about its potential as a food item. He observed, "As an article of food, skate has never been much in favour here, in fact, except in French cafés and places of that kind."  It was placed in the genus Dipturus in 2002, with other members of the then subgenus Dentiraja before the group was raised to genus level as a whole in 2016, when it gained its current binomial name Dentiraja australis.
As well as Sydney skate, the species is also known as common skate, Pommy skate, or simply skate.
Generally between 43 and 48 centimetres (17 and 19 in) long, the Sydney skate can reach 55 centimetres (22 in) in length. The upperparts are brown, with lighter color on the snout and pectoral fins, while the underparts are white.
Distribution and habitat
The Sydney skate is found on the continental shelf off the east coast of Australa, at depths of 20 to 325 metres (66 to 1,066 ft).
Once one of the most abundant skate species the continental shelf off Eastern Australia, the Sydney skate has drastically declined in numbers. Skate species declined in trawl catches off the New South Wales central and south coast by 83% between 1976/1977 and 1996/1997.
It is one of four species identified as threatened with extinction by trawling in a 2021 report.
- Australian Biological Resources Study (28 June 2018). "Species Dentiraja australis (Macleay, 1884)". Australian Faunal Directory. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Dentiraja australis" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
- Bray, Dianne J. (2020). "Sydney skate, Dentiraja australis Macleay, 1884". Fishes of Australia. Museum Victoria. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- Macleay, William John (1884). "Some results of trawl fishing outside Port Jackson". Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. 8 (4): 457–462 [461–462].
- Last, P.R.; Weigmann, S.; Yang, L. 2016. Changes to the nomenclature of the skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes). Rays of the World: Supplementary Information. CSIRO Special Publication. pp. 11-34
- Reis, Marcelo; Figueira, Will F. (2020). "Age, growth and reproductive biology of two endemic demersal bycatch elasmobranchs: Trygonorrhina fasciata and Dentiraja australis (Chondrichthyes: Rhinopristiformes, Rajiformes) from Eastern Australia". Zoologia. 37: 1–12. doi:10.3897/zoologia.37.e49318.
- Graham, K. J.; Andrew, N. L.; Hodgson, K. E. (2001). "Changes in relative abundance of sharks and rays on Australian South East Fishery trawl grounds after twenty years of fishing". Marine and Freshwater Research. 52 (4): 549. doi:10.1071/MF99174.
- Readfearn, Graham (15 March 2021). "Threatened Australian shark and skates at 'extreme risk' of being wiped out". Guardian Online. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
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