Gurgesiella atlantica

Common Name

Atlantic Pygmy Skate

Year Described

Bigelow & Schroeder, 1962


Disk rhomboidal with a concave anterior margin and convex posterior margin. Snout moderate with stiff rostral cartilage. Tip of snout strongly indented with a filamentous tab. Pectoral fins with angular tips. Pelvic fin consists of a single lobe with hook-like anterior lobe and scalloped margin. Tail is extremely long and thin. Side of tail with narrow skin folds. Dorsal fins absent. Caudal fin with equal lobes bisected by tail. Eyes and mouth large. Jaws with 26-44 tooth rows. Male claspers thin and long.

Body is covered with dermal denticles dorsally. Males have curved alar thorn patch. Ventrum with denticles on tail and near midline but smooth otherwise. Thorns present in larger individuals in a band at midline, on tail and around orbit but lacking in smaller individuals. Thorns when present are more like enlarged dermal denticles and not very obvious.


Dorsum various shades of brown with or without faint blotching. Tail banded with darker brown. Caudal fin blackish. Ventrum pale.


Maximum size to 52cm TL.


Known from deep continental shelf and slope waters from 245-960m.


Known from Nicaragua to northern Brazil.


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.