PROC. BIOL. SOC. WASH. 97(4), 1984, pp. lli-l^l COMMENTS ON THE SKATES OF THE TROPICAL EASTERN PACIFIC: ONE NEW SPECIES AND THREE NEW RECORDS (ELASMOBRANCHII: RAJIFORMES) John D. McEachran and Tsutomu Miyake Abstract.— l^ecQvvX collections of benthic fishes off the coasts of Ecuador, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands yielded a new species and three new records of skates from the eastern central Pacific. Bathyraja peruana, n. sp. is described from eight specimens, including the paratype of B. aguja Kendall and Radcliffe. This species is distinguished from other Bathyraja species of the eastern Pacific in morpho- metries, meristics, spination, and pigmentation. A specimen resembling B. rich- ardsoni but differing from it in a number of proportional measurements is dis- cussed. Bathyraja longicauda and Breviraja nigerrima {=Malacoraja nigerrima) are recorded from Peru for the first time. A neotype for M. nigerrima is designated and described. As presently known, the skate fauna of the eastern central Pacific, southern Baja California to northern Peru, is species poor, consisting of Psammobatis aguja, (Kendall and Radcliffe), (=Bathyraja aguja), B. spinosissima (Beebe and Tee-Van), Raja badia Garman, R. ecuadoriensis Beebe and Tee-Van, R. equatorialis Jordan and Bollman, R. velezi Chirichigno, and Sympterygia brevicaudata (Cope). In the eastern central Atlantic, zoogeographically similar to the eastern central Pacific (Briggs 1974), there are 32 species of skates (Stehmann 1981). Beebe and Tee-Van (1941) and Hildebrand (1946) suggested that the paratype ofB. aguja represents an undescribed species of skate and recent collections mainly by the R/V Anton Bruun (cruises 16, 18A, and 18B) support their suggestion and indicate that the paucity of skates in the eastern central Pacific may, in part, be due to sampling error. Herein we describe the eight species of skate from this area and discuss three other species which are either new records for the area or new species. Materials and Methods Specimens examined were obtained from the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (MCZ), the Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center (SOSC), and the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (USNM). The SOSC specimens were deposited at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection (TCWC) and the USNM. One specimen of the new species was dissected to reveal the structure of the neuro- cranium, scapulocoracoids and claspers. Most specimens, including the holotype and paratype of B. aguja, were radiographed to verify anatomical observations based on dissections and to count vertebrae and pectoral radials. Methods for making measurements and counts follow McEachran and Compagno (1979, 1982).



Comments on the skates of the tropical eastern Pacific, one new species and three new records (Elasmobranchii: Rajiformes)

Proceedings of The Biological Society of Washington 97: 773-787 (1984)

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