Snout long and sharp: skin rough above: only two principal rows of spines on the tail, the ridge being without spines: colour beneath white.

R. chagrinea, Mont, in Wern. Mem. vol. ii. p. 420. pl. 21. R. aspera nostras, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 78. R. aspera, Flem. Brit. An. p. 172. Blainv. Faun. Franc, p. 22.? Shagreen Ray, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 87. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 117.

Dimensions

The following were those of Montagu's specimen. Entire length three feet; length of the tail seventeen inches: breadth twenty-four inches. According to Pennant, it attains to the size of the Skate.

Description

{Form). Form narrower than that of the common kinds: greatest breadth two-thirds of the entire length: snout long and sharp, much resembling that of the R. Oxyrhinchus: teeth slender and very sharp: the whole upper surface rough, covered closely with minute shagreen-like tubercles, resembling the skin of the Dog-Fish; under surface smooth, except the head, breast and tail: nine or ten spines above the eye, but in the middle of the brow a vacancy; on the snout several tubercular spines, but scarcely definable, in two rows: behind the head, seven or eight spines on the dorsal ridge, extending so far back as to be in a line with the branchiae: two rows of strong spines on the tail, one on each side of the ridge, projecting outwards, the points much hooked backwards, and extremely sharp; some smaller spines on each side of the tail, intermixed with innumerable little spicula. In Montagus specimen, which was a male, there were the usual four series of hooked spines, very sharp-pointed, each series consisting of two rows: the ventral appendages were nearly half as long as the tail. {Colours). Upper surface of a uniform cinereous brown; in one instance, with a few black spots: under surface white. Penn and Mont.

This species, which appears very distinct and well characterized, I have not seen. Judging from the descriptions given of it by Pennant and Montagu, I am inclined to consider it the same as the R. aspera of Willughby, who expressly mentions the double row of spines on the tail. It is also the R. aspera of Fleming, and perhaps of Blainville, but it would be hazardous to annex any other synonyms. Pennant met with it at Scarborough, where, he observes, it is called the French Ray. He says that it is fond of Launces, or Sand-eels, which it takes greedily as a bait. Montagu speaks of having seen several of both sexes on the coast of Devon, but none larger than that which he has described. He adds that it is known to some of the west country fishermen by the name of Dun-Cow.

** Snout short, and rather obtuse.