Dipturus Rafinesque,

Peter R. Last & Daniel C. Gledhill, 2007, The Maugean Skate, Zearaja maugeana sp. nov. (Rajiformes: Rajidae) - a micro-endemic, Gondwanan relict from Tasmanian estuaries., Zootaxa 1494, pp. 45-65: 45

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Dipturus Rafinesque


[[ Dipturus Rafinesque  ZBK  ]]

In 1979, a series of exploratory trawl surveys were initiated to investigate commercial fish resources on the continental shelf and slope off southeastern Australia. Some skates (family Rajidae) caught were unidentifiable and this initiated a local revision of the fauna by the senior author. The most problematic subgroups were those members of the genus Dipturus  ZBK  (then assigned to Raja  ZBK  ) which contained new taxa from both inshore and deep continental slope habitats. By the mid 1980’s, this fauna had been well delineated with four rajin skates, Dipturus cerva (Whitley 1939)  , D. lemprieri (Richardson 1845)  , D. whitleyi (Iredale 1938)  , and an undescribed species, D. sp. A  (sensu Last & Stevens 1994), known from the continental shelf. Of these, D. whitleyi  , a large skate that reaches more than 1 m disc width, and the smaller and more common D. lemprieri  , were known to occur frequently in coastal marine habitats of Tasmania. However, no skates were recorded from the brackish middle and upper estuaries of the region.