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Clearnose Skate

Rostroraja eglanteria


  • Brown or gray in color on back and white underneath
  • Dark brown bars, streaks, and some spots dorsally, but circular spots with lighter margins are not present
  • Disc (body shape) angular, front edges nearly straight or slightly concave
  • Snout is pointed and translucent on both sides (hence the name 'clearnose')
  • Single row of spines located on disc starting behind spiracles near eyes, continuing to tail
  • Dorsal fins similar in size and located near end of tail
  • Sharp spine absent at base of tail

Similar Species

Roundel skate, R. texana (2 ocellated spots present on dorsal surface of disc); stingrays have a similar body shape, but possess a long whip-like tail equipped with a venomous spine


Up to 33 inches total length; maximum wingspan (disc width) approximately 20 inches


Bottom dwelling species commonly found in shallow, coastal waters over soft, sandy bottoms; sometimes enters lower reaches (high salinity) of estuaries and bays. Also found offshore in depths up to 1,000 feet of water.


Non-aggressive species of no danger to humans. Skates do not possess a venomous spine; although they have multiple thorn-like spines along their tail that could cause injury if handled.

Benthic feeder targeting crustaceans, mollusks, marine worms, squid, and small fish.


Breed while inshore. Oviparous; females deposit leathery dark-brown translucent egg cases, as many as 66, in a single reproductive season. Empty egg cases are often found washed up on coastal beaches; commonly called “mermaid’s purses.”