Anacanthobatis americanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Anacanthobatidae

Scientific Name: Anacanthobatis americanus Bigelow & Schroeder, 1962
Common Name(s):
English American Legskate

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-01
Assessor(s): McCormack, C.
Reviewer(s): Valenti, S.V. & Fowler, S.L. (Shark Red List Authority)
The American Legskate (Anacanthobatis americanus) is a small (to at least 38 cm total length) deepwater skate found in the Caribbean and off northern South America. It occurs along the slope at depths of 183-915 m. The species may be taken as bycatch by deepwater fisheries in some parts of its range, but no data are available. The American Legskate's relatively wide depth distribution probably affords it refuge from fishing pressure. Virtually nothing is known about this skate and it is not possible to assess it beyond Data Deficient without further study and information.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Western Central Atlantic: recorded from Caribbean coast of Central America, and northern coast of South America (McEachran and Carvalho 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Haiti; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):915
Upper depth limit (metres):183
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population size is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This deepwater skate is found along slope between 183 and 915 m depth. Maximum size is 38 cm total length (TL) and males mature by at least 32 cm TL (McEachran and Carvalho 2002). Like other skates, the species is oviparous but nothing else is known of the biology.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no species-specific data available to quantify catches of this species, however it may form part of the bycatch of deeper trawl and longline fisheries.

For example, snapper and grouper fisheries operate over extensive areas of the continental shelf and slope off Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and French Guiana (Mendoza et al. 2003). Approximately 1,000 medium and long-range vessels target snappers and groupers inside and outside the Venezuelan EEZ using handline and demersal longline gear (Mendoza et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No measures in place. Like many deeper water species more information on biology, ecology and importance in fisheries are required to further assess status and any future conservation needs. Where taken, catches require monitoring, particularly as deepwater fisheries expand worldwide.

The development and implementation of management plans (national and/or regional e.g., under the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks: IPOA-Sharks) are required to facilitate the conservation and management of all chondrichthyan species in the region.

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2009.2). Available at: (Accessed: 3 November 2009).

McEachran, J.D. and Carvalho, M.R. de. 2002.. Rajidae: Skates. In: In: Carpenter, K. E. (ed.). (ed.), The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Volume 1: Introduction, molluscs, crustaceans, hagfishes, sharks, batoid fishes and chimaeras., pp. 531-561.. FAO,, Rome.

Mendoza, J., Booth, S. and Zeller, D. 2003. Venezuelan marine fisheries catches in space and time: 1950-1999. Fisheries Centre Research Reports. Fisheries Centre, UBC, Victoria.

Citation: McCormack, C. 2009. Anacanthobatis americanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T161481A5433740. . Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
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