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Author: Montagu, 1818

Raja (Raja) microocellata Montagu, 1818

Diagnosis: eyes conspicuously small. Dorsal fins close-set, no thorns between. Upper surface predominantly spinulose, but centre and posterior third of pectoral fins almost smooth; underside almost smooth in young, but head and centre of disc prickly in larger specimens. Orbital thorns separate; a regular row of about 50 thorns from nape to first dorsal fin, reduced in size and number on body in adults; thorns on lower edges of tail, particularly in adult females. Colour: upper surface greyish, olive to light brown with light blotches and long bands, arranged almost parallel to margins of disc; underside white. Size: to about 80 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic on sandy bottoms, from inshore waters to about 100 m in tidal areas; moderately common, locally exploited. Food: preference for fishes. Reproduction: oviparous; ripe females in English Channel during summer, embryos developing in about seven months; egg-cases 85-95 by 52-63 mm (excluding horns).

Distribution: Atlantic coasts from Morocco northward to south-western England and Ireland; not in North Sea or Mediterranean.

Complementary iconography. Clark, 1930, in Faune ichthyol. Atl. N., fiche 42.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Williamson, 1913: 4, fig. 11 (egg-capsule) | Clark, 1922: 615-617, fig. 11-12 (egg-capsule and young).

Small-eyed ray (Raja microocellata)