Monday, March 20, 2017

[Ichthyology • 2017] Notoraja sereti • A New Species of Velvet Skate (Rajiformes: Arhynchobatidae) from Papua New Guinea

Notoraja sereti 
White, Last & Mana, 2017  


A new arhynchobatin skate, Notoraja sereti n. sp., is described based on three specimens collected from off Madang (Papua New Guinea) at depths of 800–980 m. This medium-size Notoraja skate shares with other velcro skates from the Western Pacific, N. alisae, N. fijiensis, N. inusitata and N. longiventralis, a ventral surface covering of fine denticles giving the skin a velvety feel. Notoraja sereti differs from all of these species in having a shorter snout (preorbital length 10.1–11.1 vs. 11.5–14.5% TL, prenasal length 8.2–8.9 vs, 9.8–12.1% TL), shorter head (dorsal head length 15.2–16.2 vs. 17.1–19.3% TL, ventral head length 21.6–22.9 vs. 22.9–25.9% TL), fewer pectoral-fin radials (total radials 58–60 vs. 61–74), and fewer vertebrae (predorsal diplospondylous centra 66–71 vs. 72–82, predorsal centra 90–95 vs. 98–107, total centra 126–131 vs. 135–152).

Keywords: Pisces, Notoraja, new species, velcro skate, Papua New Guinea

FIGURE 1: Dorsal view of the holotype of Notoraja sereti n. sp. (NTUM 10067, female 459 mm TL) immediately post-capture. 

Etymology. Named after the highly respected French ichthyologist, Dr. Bernard Séret, who has contributed greatly to the taxonomy of sharks and rays, and in particular to our knowledge of skates of the genus Notoraja. English name: Papuan Velvet Skate.

White, William T., Peter R. Last & Ralph R. Mana. 2017. A New Species of Velvet Skate, Notoraja sereti n.sp. (Rajiformes: Arhynchobatidae) from Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa. 4244(2); 219–230.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4244.2.4

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