Ray-Fish, or Raja, L. a genus of the finny tribe, subsisting on muscles, small fish, etc. comprising nine species, of which the following: are the most remarkable.

1. The batis. See Skate.

2. The aspera, or Rough Ray, is found in Loch Broom, in Scotland. From the point of the nose to the end of the tail, it measures upwards of five feet in length. The upper part of the body is of an ash-brown colour, streaked with white; spotted with black; and covered with small spines. The tail is furnished with three rows of large spines, such as are likewise on the fins, and lower surface of the body. This fish, we believe, is eaten only in times of scarcity.

3. The torpedo, Electric Ray, or cramp-fish, is often caught in Torbay, Devonshire, at the depth of about forty fathoms. It attains a prodigious size, and frequently weighs upwards of 80lbs. Its head and body are nearly circular ; the upper parts being ash-brown ; and the lower belly white. This ani-mal feeds upon fish, which it stupefies by its electric stroke,- The cramp-fish also gives a violent shock to those who tread upon, or take it in their hands ; a pheno - menon which is attributed to two sets of very small cylindrical vessels that lie beneath the skin ; one being electrified positively, and the other negatively, apparently at the pleasure of the fish.

4. The clavata. See Thorn-back.

5. The pastinaca, or Sting -Ray, is also found in the British Seas. Its body is perfectly smooth, mucilaginous, almost round, and much thicker than any other ray-fish. This species sheds its spine, which is renewed annually ; it is caught with danger to the pursuers ; and is not only remarkable on account of the severe wounds it inflicts (which are very difficult to cure ; though they are not venomous, as was formerly believed), but likewise esteemed a good dish, when young and tender. Numbers are taken near Heligoland, at the mouth of the Elbe; and Funke informs us, that their flat bodies, in general, exceed two feet in breadth, though only an inch thick; but that they sometimes attain a very considerable size, weighing several cwt.- The smooth ray-fish is thence exported in a dried state ; and from its liver is obtained a white species of train-oil.