Dipturus batis (Linnaeus), 1758
* Integrated Taxonomic Information System
The common skate or blue skate (Dipturus batis) is the largest skate in the world. Historically, it was one of the most abundant skates in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Despite its name, today it appears to be absent from much of this range. Where previously abundant, fisheries directly targeted this skate, elsewhere it is caught incidentally as by-catch. Previously assessed as Endangered globally and Critically Endangered in shelf and enclosed seas in the 2000 IUCN Red List, it has been uplisted to Critically Endangered globally in 2006 . In 2009, research showed that what was formerly listed as a single species, D. batis, should be instead classified as two separate species, D. flossada and the flapper skate, D. intermedia.
The common skate can grow to 285 cm long and weigh 220 lb (100 kg), making it the largest skate in the world. Overall shape features a pointed snout and rhombic shape, with a row of spines or thorns along the tail. The top surface is generally colored olive-grey to brown, often with a pattern of spots, the underside is lighter blue-grey.
^ Sometimes listed as Raja batis which was the name given by Linnaeus, however this name is no longer considered valid.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License