Fenestraja sinusmexicanus

Common Name

Gulf Pygmy Skate

Year Described

Bigelow & Schroeder, 1950


Disk heart shaped with a almost straight anterior margin of snout and pectoral fin (concave pectoral margin in males). Snout with short projecting lobe. Pectoral fins with round tips. Anterior pelvic fin lobe elongate; separated from posterior lobe by strong notch. Posterior lobe rectangular and about the same size as anterior. Tail is long and thin. Posterior part of tail with low skin folds. There are two small dorsal fins placed far back on tail with fins close together (gap less than half dorsal base). Caudal fin with developed upper lobe. Eyes and mouth large. Jaws with around 40-46 tooth rows. Male claspers long.

Body is covered with dermal denticles dorsally. Ventrum smooth. The rostrum has no thorns. There are 7-11 orbital thorns, 1 spiracular thorn, and around 8-12 nuchal/scapular thorns on the head (forming a contiguous patch). Abdomen and tail with a median row of 56-64 small thorns. Two additional strong rows of thorns flanking median row.


Color uniformly medium gray-brown to purplish-brown above. No obvious markings. Ventrum pale.


A very small skate: maximum size to 36cm TL.


Found on continental shelves and slopes at a wide variety of depths (60-1100m).


Known from continental waters off Florida to the Gulf of Mexico, off Nicaragua, and off Venezuela.


Last, P.R., White, W.T., Carvalho, M.R. de, Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W & Naylor, G.J.P (Eds.). 2016. Rays of the World. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.