Zearaja chilensis

Common Name

Yellownosed Skate

Year Described

Guichenot, 1848


Disk spade-shaped with a concave anterior margin. Snout very long. Mouth width two times in snout length. Pectoral fins angular. Anterior pelvic fin lobe about 50% as long as the posterior lobe. Tail about 43% of TL, and has low skin folds on both sides. There are two dorsal fins, separated from each other by a distance less than one half of first dorsal base. The caudal fin consists of a moderately developed lobe.

Body is smooth above, with dermal denticles restricted to the snout. Interorbital region smooth without denticles. There are 3-5 orbital thorns and 1-3 nuchal thorns behind the head. Scapular thorns absent. No thorns on midline of body anterior to pelvic base. Tail with a single median row of 15-20 thorns and 1-2 lateral thorn row(s) on each side. One or two thorns present between the dorsal fins. Ventral surface without dermal denticles except for around snout.


Medium to dark brown, with or without a large dark blotch on the basal part of the pectoral fin. Can have scattered pale and dark spots over the upper disk. Both sides of nose translucent with a pinkish to pale wash.


Maximum size to 155cm TL, with mature adults from 80-100cm TL.


Demersal from 105-342m.


Southwestern Atlantic: Southern Brazil to Tierra del Fuego, Chile, including the Falklands Is. Also in the SE Pacific.


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.

Díaz de Astarloa, J.M., E. Mabragaña, R. Hanner and D.E. Figueroa. 2008. Morphological and molecular evidence for a new species of longnose skate (Rajiformes: Rajidae: Dipturus) from Argentinean waters based on DNA barcoding. Zootaxa 1921:35-46.

Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Editors. 2012. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (10/2012).

Gomes, U.L. and S. Picado, 2001. Distribution of the species of Dipturus Rafinesque (Rajidae, Rajinae, Rajini) of Brazil and first record of the Caribbean skate D. teevani (Bigelow & Schroeder), in the western South Atlantic. Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 18(1): 171-185.

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.

Other Notes

This species has a shorter and spinier tail than Zearaja argentinensis. The only Dipturus in the SW Atlantic with a thornless abdomen, D. trachydermus, has a rough skin versus a largely smooth skin in Zearaja.