Bathyraja papilionifera

Common Name

Butterfly Skate

Year Described

Stehmann, 1985


Nuchal median thorns: 1-5
Tail median thorns: 18-27 (usually 20-24)

Disk diamond shaped and quite smooth posteriorly (dense prickles on anterior half of disk, median area, and tail). Median thorn row continuous between trunk and tail. Tail median thorn row flanked with stripes of strong spinules. Snout relatively short with slightly convex anterior margins. Anterior margin of pectoral fins concave. Ocular and scapular thorns absent. Alar thorns number ?. Interdorsal thorn usually absent but strong when present. Claspers long and narrow. Teeth are conical and sharp.


Upper disk medium gray with diffuse dark blotches and smaller white spots in juveniles becoming uniformly medium gray to cream in adults. Tail not banded. Rostrum and ocular region pale. Underside is whitish with broad grayish margins becoming less extensive in adults. Sometimes with dark blotches on belly. Underside of tail dark in adults.


Maximum size to 103cm DW.


A relatively deepwater species: caught on continental slopes from 827-1550m.


Southwest Atlantic: Uruguay to Argentina and the Falkland Islands.


Bizikov, V., Arkhipkin A.I., Laptikhovsky VV., Pompert J.H.W. 2004. Identification guide and biology of the Falkland skates. Stanley, Falkland Islands: Fisheries Department, Falkland Island Government. 11 p.