(©Bob Michelson, Photography By Michelson, Inc., http://www.pbmphoto.com)
Little Skate
(Raja erinacea)

These cartilaginous fish have wing-like fins. They are brownish gray with dark spots on top and pale gray to white on the underside. They will change color to blend in with the seafloor. They have spines on the upper surface to the tail. The little skate can be distinguished from the winter skate by the lack of eyespots on the pectoral fins. The little skate only grows to be about 21" (54 cm) long. The skate's diet is diverse and includes shellfish, crabs, sea squirt, worms, amphipods, squid and small fish. They are generally found on sandy, muddy, or pebbly bottoms of the Bay. The little skate is the most common skate in the Bay and is present here from spring to fall. Skates lay their eggs in dark, leathery cases called "mermaid's purses"; the empty ones are commonly found on local beaches.

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