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Author: Muller & Henle, 1841

Raja (Leucoraja) naevus Muller & Henle, 1841

Diagnosis: snout short. Upper surface entirely spinulose, but centre of pectoral fins sometimes more or less bare in adults. Generally 9-13 thorns in a complete row around inner margin of eye (middle ones sometimes reduced in adults), and a large triangle of thorns on nape/shoulder region; two parallel rows of strong thorns on each side of midline along tail, the inner rows usually continued forward to shoulder, but a median row of thorns at most in juveniles; dorsal fins close-set, no thorns between; underside smooth except for prickly front edges. Colour: upper surface ochre to light greyish-brown; a large roundish black eye-spot, marbled with yellow worm-like stripes, in middle of each pectoral fin, rarely a few additional and smaller eye-spots; underside white. Size: to about 70 cm TL.

Habitat: benthic in coastal waters between 20 and 250 m; common, landed in large quantities, especially in north-western Europe. Food: all kinds of bottom animals. Reproduction: oviparous; egg-cases laid throughout whole year without definite season, up to 100 eggs by one female; egg-cases about 60 by 40 mm (excluding horns, the anterior pair longer than case).

Distribution: Atlantic coasts northward from northern Morocco to Ireland and Britain and northern part of North Sea, to Kattegat; western part of Mediterranean, to Tunisia and western Greece, rare in eastern part. Elsewhere, reported from Senegal.

Complementary iconography. Clark, 1930, in Faune ichthyol. Atl. N., fiche 46 | Bini, 1967: 159-160.
Eggs, embryonic and young stages. Williamson, 1913: 2, fig. 4 (egg-capsule, cited as R. circularis) I Clark, 1922: 618-623, fig. 13-15 (egg-capsule and young).

Cuckoo ray (Raja naevus)