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Author: Fowler, 1910

Raja (Raja) montagui Fowler, 1910

Diagnosis: upper surface almost smooth in young, but prickly in large specimens, except for bare centres of pectoral fins and hind part of disc; underside nearly smooth, except for narrow bands of prickles along front margins of disc and small patches in the gill region and on abdomen. Orbital thorns separate; a regular row of 20-50 usually persistent thorns from nape to first dorsal fin and 1-2 thorns between dorsal fins; thorns on lower edges of tail mainly in young. Colour: upper surface brownish with numerous small darker spots which do not reach the margins of the disc or of the pelvic fins; frequently a concentration of dark spots forming a ring around a pale centre on hind part of each pectoral fin (resembling an eye-spot) and occasionally several pale white blotches, underside white. Size: to about 80 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic, from inshore waters to about 100 m; moderately common, regularly marketed. Food: preference for crustaceans. Reproduction: oviparous; egg-cases laid in summer, embryos developing in 5-6 months, 64-77 by 37-46 mm (excluding horns).

Distribution: Atlantic coasts from Morocco northward to the Shetlands, southern North Sea and Baltic Sea, also western part of Mediterranean (to Tunisia and to western Greece).

Complementary iconography. Clark, 1930, in Faune ichthyol. Atl. N., fiche 37 | Bini, 1967: 147-148, 2 fig.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Williamson, 1913: 2, fig. 12 (as R. maculata) | Clark, 1922: 601-606, fig. 5-7 (egg-capsules and young).

Spotted ray (Raja montagui)