Insentiraja laxipella 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Arhynchobatidae

Scientific Name: Insentiraja laxipella
Species Authority: (Yearsley & Last, 1992)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Looseskin Skate
Notoraja laxipella (Yearsley & Last 1992)
Pavoraja laxipella Yearsley & Last, 1992
Taxonomic Notes: Insentiraja laxipella could be generically distinct. Unique among Australian skates, in lacking dorsal fins.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-05-04
Assessor(s): Huveneers, C. & Last, P.R.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
The Eastern Looseskin Skate (Insentiraja laxipella) is a small (to 57 cm total length), highly distinctive, deepwater skate, occurring at depths of 800–880 m. This species is restricted to the continental slope off Cairns (Queensland, Australia) in the Western Central Pacific. Its biology is virtually unknown as it is known from the type specimens only. Trawl fisheries are not currently operating within its range but its restricted depth and geographic range could make it sensitive to depletion in the future. This skate is still very poorly known and cannot be assessed beyond Data Deficient without further records and thus information on its range, population, and potential threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Data Deficient (DD)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Eastern Looseskin Skate is an Australian endemic in the Western Central Pacific, restricted to the continental slope off Cairns, Queensland, in the Coral Sea (Last and Stevens 2009). It is likely to only exist on seamounts offshore from northeast Queensland.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Queensland)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 880
Upper depth limit (metres): 800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population structure of the Eastern Looseskin Skate is unknown. Its range is narrow and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is rarely surveyed.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A small, highly distinctive, deepwater skate, this species occurs on the mid continental slope at depths of 800–880 m and attains at least 57 cm total length (TL) (Last and Compagno 1999), at which males are mature (Last and Stevens 2009). Its biology is virtually unknown as it is known from type specimens only. A bottom-dwelling, oviparous species (Last and Compagno 1999).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not known to be utilized or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Demersal fishing pressure across the range of this skate is generally very low. While the management area of the Australian Commonwealth managed Coral Sea Fishery overlaps with the species' range, this is a relatively small-scale fishery with no trawl effort since the 2006-07 fishing season (Noriega et al. 2014). Trawling in the past within this fishery has been low effort, and while it is possible that this skate was a bycatch of trawling, the management area of the fishery is far greater than the range of this skate, with the majority of fishing effort outside of its occurrence (although the range of this skate is not well documented due to the fact that it is only known from the type series). Other sectors of the fishery use gear unlikely to interact with skates. Trawl fisheries could significantly affect the population if they began to take it as bycatch, due to its narrow geographic and depth range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place. Careful monitoring of fishing effort throughout the EOO is needed to ensure that the current population is not detrimentally affected.

Citation: Huveneers, C. & Last, P.R. 2015. Insentiraja laxipella. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T161390A68630579. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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