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A new skate genus Orbiraja (Rajiformes: Rajidae) from the Indo-West Pacific



Molecular analyses and information gleaned from an examination of the newly available adult male of the North-West Pacific skate, Okamejei jensenae Last & Lim, supported earlier concerns that the species might be mis-assigned. Morphological data based on this specimen supported its placement in a new genus Orbiraja that is assigned to the recently named Rostrorajini based on molecular evidence. This subgroup of the family Rajidae also includes Malacoraja, Neoraja, Rostroraja and an unresolved ‘amphi-American Assemblage’ (sensu McEachran & Dunn, 1998). Orbiraja is unique within the rajids in having the combination of three, very closely spaced median thorn rows on the tail, no dark-edged ventral pores, and a clasper skeleton with a prominent accessory terminal 3 cartilage formed by a medio-distal extension of the accessory terminal 2 cartilage. Its spiracle appears to be situated posteriorly with respect to the orbit. The group contains two other nominal species, Orbiraja powelli (Alcock) and O. philipi (Lloyd), and an un-named species from Indonesia that needs further investigation. Orbiraja jensenae is rediagnosed based on characteristics of the adult male.



Pisces, Rajidae, Orbiraja, Orbiraja jensenae, new genus, first adult male, Indo–West Pacific

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa