Questionable species

Questionable species


Dipturus batis and Dipturus intermedius

According to the last taxonomic revision, the common skate complex ‘Dipturus cf. batis‘ comprises two species: the common blue skate Dipturus batis (formerly described as Dipturus flossada) and the flapper skate Dipturus intermedius. If the two species are now considered distinct, earlier data reported under the name ‘Dipturus batis‘ could however concern one or the other species, complicating the description of their geographical distribution. Recent studies reflect an increasing uncertainty regarding the contemporary occurrence of the common skate complex in the Mediterranean Sea.

Dipturus batis (photo credit: Cambraia Duarte)
Dipturus intermedius (photo credit: Davy Holt)

Key references

  • Bache-Jeffreys M., de Moraes B.L.C., Ball R.E., Menezes G., Pálsson J., Pampoulie C., Stevens J.R., Griffiths A. M. 2021. Resolving the spatial distributions of Dipturus intermedius and Dipturus batis – the two taxa formerly known as the ‘common skate’. Environmental Biology of Fishes 104(8): 923-936.
  • Carpentieri P., Nastasi A., Sessa M., Srour A. 2021. Incidental catch of vulnerable species in Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries – A review. General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. Studies and Reviews 101: I-317.
  • Carugati L., Melis R., Cariani A., Cau A., Crobe V., Ferrari A., Follesa M.C., Geraci M.L., Iglésias S.P., Pesci P., Tinti F., Cannas R. 2022. Combined COI barcode‐based methods to avoid mislabelling of threatened species of deep‐sea skates. Animal Conservation 25(1): 38-52.
  • ICES. 2021. Working Group on Elasmobranch Fishes (WGEF). ICES Scientific Reports 3:59. 822 pp.
  • Iglésias S. P., Toulhoat L., Sellos D. Y. 2010. Taxonomic confusion and market mislabelling of threatened skates: important consequences for their conservation status. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20(3): 319-333.
  • Last P. R., Weigmann S., Yang L. 2016. Changes to the nomenclature of the skates (Chondrichthyes: Rajiformes). Rays of the world: Supplementary information: 11-34.
  • Ramírez-Amaro S., Ordines F., Esteban A., García C., Guijarro B., Salmerón F., Terrassa B., Massutí, E. 2020. The diversity of recent trends for chondrichthyans in the Mediterranean reflects fishing exploitation and a potential evolutionary pressure towards early maturation. Scientific Reports 10(1): 1-18.
  • Serena F., Abella A. J., Bargnesi F., Barone M., Colloca F., Ferretti F., Fiorentino F., Jenrette J. & Moro S. 2020. Species diversity, taxonomy and distribution of Chondrichthyes in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, The European Zoological Journal 87(1): 497-536.