Snout sharp, conic, the lateral margins not parallel: skin granulated above: one or three rows of spines on the tail; the points of the lateral rows, when present, directed forwards: colour beneath gray, with black specks.
R. Batis, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. 1. p. 395. Bloch, Ichth. pl. 79. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 110. Flem. Brit. An. p. 171. Blainv. Faun. Franc, p. 13.? R. lsevis undulata, seu cinerea, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 69. tab. C. 5. Ray, Syn. Pise. p. 25. Skate, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 82. pl. 9. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. Ill, and Sharp-nosed Ray, pl. 11. La Raie blanche ou cendree, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. 11. p. 398.
From two to four feet; sometimes more.
(Form). Form rhomboidal; the transverse diameter greater by one-third than the length, this last being measured from the extremity of the snout to the vent: body thin, in proportion to its bulk: snout considerably elongated, sharp, conical, the lateral margins never becoming parallel, but approaching gradually to form an acute angle: teeth numerous, in several rows, rather closely compacted, oval and broad at the base, each terminating above in a sharp conical point, hooked, the hooks inclining backwards, and most developed in the inner rows, and on the central teeth in those rows: nostrils in a line with the angles of the mouth, with which they are connected by means of a prolonged channel, and placed at less than one-third of the distance from the mouth to the margin of the pectorals: eyes of moderate size: spiracles large: skin finely granulated above, communicating a slight roughness to the touch; under surface mostly smooth, but a little rough in places, more especially beneath the snout: a row of strong spines along the mesial line of the tail, with the points directed backwards; a lateral row on each side of the same, with the points standing out or directed forwards; sometimes the lateral rows are wanting, or simply indicated (especially in young specimens) by small osseous tubercles: generally no spines above or behind the eyes, or on any part of the back: tail as long as the body, depressed, not very stout; furnished with two moderately-sized finlets near the extremity, a little remote from each other; scarcely the rudiment of a caudal: pectorals broad, rounded at their lateral extremities, the anterior margins nearly straight, the posterior rather convex: vent-rals moderate, divided into two lobes; the upper lobe polliciform; the appendages (of the male) very small in young specimens, and not extending so low as the ventrals themselves, but in the adults much longer and more developed. Obs. The Males in this, and in all the other species of this family, besides possessing the ventral appendages, are characterized by several parallel rows of sharp hooked spines on the anterior lobe, and at the angle, of each of the pectorals. 'These spines are always very much reclined, and partly concealed, with the points directed inwards. They are quite independent of the other, generally larger and more erect, spines, which are more or less characteristic of the particular species. The number of rows, and the number in each row, depend upon age, being greatest in the oldest individuals: sometimes, in very young males, these sexual spines (as they may be termed) hardly show themselves at all. It may be added that the teeth also often differ in the two sexes; the males generally having them sharper and more pointed than the other sex; in the young, however, they are sometimes similar in both sexes. (Colours). Upper surface of a uniform dusky, brown, tinged with cinereous: under surface dusky gray, sometimes grayish white, studded with black specks, having a white centre, most abundant beneath the snout. The colours of both sides become paler with age.
Torn. iii. p. 143. pl. 4. f. 9. T. Corpore cameo, maculis fuscis, fasciisque sinuosis, marmorato; cauda crassa, summitate rotundata.
La Torpille marbree, Blainv. Faun. Franc, pl. 9.
Spiracles surrounded by seven tooth-like processes: branchial openings crescent-shaped: electrical apparatus very distinct.
Torn. iii. p. 144. T. Corpore fulvo, immaculato, nigro-marginato.
La Torpille Galvanienne, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 397.
Differs from the three preceding species in its much larger dimensions, and in the upper part of the body being constantly of a uniform red colour, without any spots or markings whatever.
* See Linn. Trans, vol. xiv. pp. 89, 90.
Not uncommon on many parts of the coast, though less plentiful than some other species. Attains to a very large size, weighing sometimes nearly two hundred pounds. According to Pennant, the ova, or purses, are cast by the females from May to September. The young are sometimes called Maids. Obs. By some authors the skin of this species is represented as smooth; and it is not quite certain whether two have not been in some instances confounded under the name of R. Batis.