Seamount egg-laying grounds of the deep-water skate Bathyraja richardsoni

J Fish Biol. 2016 Aug;89(2):1473-81. doi: 10.1111/jfb.13041. Epub 2016 Jun 28.


Highly localized concentrations of elasmobranch egg capsules of the deep-water skate Bathyraja richardsoni were discovered during the first remotely operated vehicle (ROV) survey of the Hebrides Terrace Seamount in the Rockall Trough, north-east Atlantic Ocean. Conductivity-temperature-depth profiling indicated that the eggs were bathed in a specific environmental niche of well-oxygenated waters between 4·20 and 4·55° C, and salinity 34·95-35·06, on a coarse to fine-grained sandy seabed on the seamount's eastern flank, whereas a second type of egg capsule (possibly belonging to the skate Dipturus sp.) was recorded exclusively amongst the reef-building stony coral Solenosmilia variabilis. The depths of both egg-laying habitats (1489-1580 m) provide a de facto refuge from fisheries mortality for younger life stages of these skates.

Keywords: deep sea; elasmobranch; environment; habitat; reproduction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthozoa
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Ecosystem*
  • Elasmobranchii
  • Female
  • Fisheries
  • Male
  • Oviposition
  • Ovum*
  • Salinity
  • Skates, Fish*
  • Water


  • Water