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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2011, Article ID 842821, 18 pages
Research Article

Sexually Dimorphic Morphological Characters in Five North Atlantic Deepwater Skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes)

1Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO), 17 V. Krasnoselskaya, Moscow 107140, Russia
2Department of Fisheries Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, P.O. Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062, USA

Received 16 March 2011; Accepted 9 May 2011

Academic Editor: Jakov Dulčić

Copyright © 2011 Alexei M. Orlov and Charles F. Cotton. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Skates exhibit a variety of manifestations of sexual dimorphism. However, this phenomenon has been poorly documented in deepwater species. New data on the sexual dimorphism of five species of deepwater skates from the North Atlantic Ocean are presented: Amblyraja jenseni, Bathyraja pallida, Bathyraja richardsoni, Rajella bigelowi, and R. kukujevi. These skates exhibit sexual dimorphism most frequently in interorbital width, disc length and width, length of the third gill slit, horizontal diameter of the orbit, length of the fifth gill slit, space between the first and fifth gill slits, length of the second dorsal fin base, mouth width, length and width of each lobe of the nasal curtain, distance from the snout to the center of anus, distance from the snout tip to the point of maximum disc width, length of the lateral fold, length of the orbit + spiracle (measured together), tail height at the pelvic fin tips, and the number of median thorns.