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Interrelationships and subgeneric classification of raja erinacea and raja ocellata based on claspers neurocrania and pelvic girdles pisces rajidae

, : Interrelationships and subgeneric classification of raja erinacea and raja ocellata based on claspers neurocrania and pelvic girdles pisces rajidae. Copeia (4): 593-601

Claspers, neurocrania and pelvic girdles of R. erinacea and R. ocellata were compared with those of skates from the Gulf of St. Lawrence [Canada] (identified as R. erinacea by several authors) which appear intermediate in several characters. Comparison revealed that skates from the Gulf are R. ocellata rather than R. erinacea. R. erinacea and R. ocellata are closely related to species of the subgenera Leucoraja and Rajella but are classified as Leucoraja on the basis on their claspers and pelvic girdles. Distinctions between Leucoraja and Rajella are discussed and the 2 subgenera may not be distinct. R. garmani resembles the 2 spp. in overall appearance. The clasper of that species is distinct and on that basis it cannot be included in Leucoraja. The similar general morphology of R. garmani, R. erinacea and R. ocellata and structure of the clasper suggest that R. garmani was derived from either R. erinacea or R. ocellata. A mechanism deriving R. garmani from either of these species is proposed. On the basis of clasper structure R. clarki is classified in Leucoraja.


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