Dipturus queenslandicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Chondrichthyes Rajiformes Rajidae

Scientific Name: Dipturus queenslandicus Last, White & Pogonoski, 2008
Common Name(s):
English Queensland Deepwater Skate
Taxonomic Notes:

Last and Yearsley (2002) discussed the generic placement of Australasian rajin skates. Six long-snout species were considered to conform closely with non-Australian members of the genus Dipturus. This group consists of the Bight Skate (Dipturus gudgeri), Heald's Skate (Dipturus healdi), Graham's Skate (Dipturus grahami), the Blacktip Skate (Dipturus melanospilus), Pale Tropical Skate (Dipturus acrobelus) and the Queensland Deepwater Skate (Dipturus queenslandicus). The Queensland Deepwater Skate is a problematic skate possibly involving two similar species. Unusual among Australian Dipturus skates in having the characteristic nuchal thorn either present or absent (usually present but it is easily removed). Individuals lacking a nuchal thorn can be confused with the Blacktip Skate. More specimens are required (Last and Stevens 2009).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-04-25
Assessor(s): Awruch, C.A. & White, W.T.
Reviewer(s): Walls, R.H.L. & Kyne, P.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Kyne, P.M. & Walls, R.H.L.
Like many deepwater skates, there is not enough information to assess the Queensland Deepwater Skate (Dipturus queenslandicus) beyond Data Deficient. Essentially nothing is known of its ecology or life history. Species-specific catch data are not available, but its area of occurrence currently receives little demersal fishing effort, and there are no significant threats apparent. However, any future expansion of demersal trawling within its range may pose a risk given its limited geographic and bathymetric range. Given the sensitivity of large skates to overfishing, bycatch levels need monitoring and research needs to include information on range and ecology.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Queensland Deepwater Skate (Dipturus queenslandicus) is known only from the Saumarez Plateau off Queensland (22°36′S, 154°14′E to 23°12′S, 153°33′E). It was once thought to occur slightly further north (19°02′S, 150°43′E), but these records appear to be of another closely related undescribed species (Last et al. 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Queensland)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):606
Upper depth limit (metres):399
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no details on population size, structure or trends of this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This skate is known only from the continental slope at depths of 399–606 m (Last et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009). There are no specific details on its habitat. It attains at least 76 cm total length (TL); males mature by 63 cm TL (Last et al. 2008, Last and Stevens 2009). There is no information on the life cycle or growth.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This skate is not known to be utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no documented threats to this skate. It occurs deeper than the depths fished by the deepwater eastern king prawn sector of the Queensland east coast trawl fishery. Its range may overlap with the Commonwealth-managed Coral Sea Fishery, but there has been no trawling in that fishery since the 2006-07 fishing season (Noriega et al. 2014). Given its narrow depth range, any demersal fishing in the area could adversely affect its presumably small population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No species-specific conservation actions are currently in place. Research is required to better define its full range, estimate abundance, and examine life history traits.

Classifications [top]

11. Marine Deep Benthic -> 11.1. Marine Deep Benthic - Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200-4,000m) -> 11.1.1. Hard Substrate
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
11. Marine Deep Benthic -> 11.1. Marine Deep Benthic - Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200-4,000m) -> 11.1.2. Soft Substrate
suitability:Suitable season:resident 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:Unknown
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Last, P.R. and Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. First Edition. CSIRO Division of Fisheries, Hobart.

Last, P.R. and Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Second Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Last, P.R. and Yearsley, G.K. 2002. Zoogeography and relationships of Australasian skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae). Journal of Biogeography 29: 1627-1641.

Last, P.R., White, W.T. and Pogonoski, J.J. 2008. New skates of the genus Dipturus (Rajoidei: Rajidae) from Australian Seas. Pp 9–52. In: P.R. Last, W.T. White, J.J. Pogonoski and D.C. Gledhill (eds), Descriptions of new Australian skates (Batoidea: Rajoidei), CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper No. 021.

Noriega, R., Hansen, S. and Mazur, K. 2014. Coral Sea Fishery. In: Georgeson, L., Stobutzki, I. and Curtotti, R. (eds), Fishery status reports 2013-14, pp. 48-60. Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Canberra.

Citation: Awruch, C.A. & White, W.T. 2015. Dipturus queenslandicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T195452A68621739. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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