15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Clearnose Skate For Kids

Interesting Clearnose Skate facts about a flat disc, rhombus shape fish.

The Clearnose skate is an interesting Cartilaginous fish of the Rajidae family, also known as the Summer skate and Brier skate. The Clearnose skates are found in the western North Atlantic, extending from Massachusetts to South Florida. This skate is commonly found in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Brier skate is a relatively more minor category of the skate. Its pectoral fin, head, and body form a broad disc-shaped structure. They have two dorsal fins. A single row of thorns extends on the back. The dorsal surface is grayish to brownish, and the pectoral fins have dark spots. The ventral surface of this fish is cream-colored or white. The skate's upper jaw has 46-54 teeth and lower jaw has 48 teeth. The teeth of the males have sharper teeth than females. Read on for more fascinating facts.

If this article interests you, you may also like our articles on tang fish and the tetra.

Clearnose Skate

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Shrimps, fiddler crabs, small fish

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

7.7 lb (3.5 kg)

How long are they?

31.1 in (79 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown-gray dorsal, white ventral

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Sand tiger sharks, marine snails

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Continental shelves, coastal, benthic, brackish waters


The Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coasts of United States





Scientific Name

Raja eglantaria





Clearnose Skate Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Clearnose Skate?

The Clearnose skate fish is a flat and diamond-shaped fish with a pointed and translucent snout. It is a fish that can survive on coastal shores and ocean beds. Their posterior surface is brown to gray, and the ventral surface is white.

What class of animal does a Clearnose Skate belong to?

The Skate Clearnose belongs to Chondrichthyes' class, a class containing cartilaginous fishes with skeletons primarily composed of cartilage.

How many Clearnose Skate are there in the world?

The exact population of this breed of the family Rajidae is not determined as the skates occupy the seashores and the in-depth floors of the sea and ocean.

Where does a Clearnose Skate live?

The Raja eglanteria are found in marine habitats. They are native to the United States Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Southern Florida, the Eastern and Northern Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Florida, Eastern Texas. They are rarely found in Massachusetts's north of Cape Cod.

What is a Clearnose Skate's habitat?

The Clearnose skates prefer aquatic biomes, benthic brackish, and coastal water bodies. They live in saltwater bays and estuaries on the coastal sea floors. Soft, sandy conditions of substrate shores favor these skate living. They can survive on the inshore waters of 328 ft or in-depth on the seafloor, typically 1083 ft. Their flattened bodies grade them as well-adapted species to live on the ocean floor. These fish of the Rajidae family use their flat bodies to blend in with their surroundings on the seafloor and take hold of prey with ease. They have neuromast organs that help them detect water movement and survive on the benthic surfaces of oceans.

Who do Clearnose Skates live with?

The Clearnose skates are solitary animals, except during mating, they do not exhibit social behavior.

How long does a Clearnose Skate live?

The life span of these skates is more than 5 years.

How do they reproduce?

The eglanteria species of the Rajidae family oviparous, and water temperatures profoundly determine breeding season; the required water temperature for breeding should be between 16-22°C. A female takes four to six years to mature, while a male skate takes two to four years. During copulation, the male bites (as they have sharper teeth than females) onto the trailing edge of one of the female's pectoral fins, with the support of its jaws and dorsal fins found in rows over the distal portions of the pectoral fins. The male then rotates his pelvis below a female's tail and pelvic fin, inserts a clasper into the female right or left pectoral fins, and releases the sperms into the female pectoral. Later, the female contracts pelvic fins on the ventral surface, and fertilized eggs are laid, and sticky material of the egg case helps to anchor it. Around 23-25 pairs of eggs are laid per season by the females. The total incubation period is about 62-96 days. Upon hatching, the young skates become fully independent. The fertilized eggs of eglanteria Clearnose skate are referred to as Mermaid Purses.

What is their conservation status?

The eglanteria Clearnose skate's conservation status is categorized as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that these skate fishes are very commonly found on the seafloor or ocean in large water bodies. Hence the population would be higher than the recorded number.

Clearnose Skate Fun Facts

What do Clearnose Skates look like?

A Clearnose skate is a diamond-shaped skate. It is generally brown to a gray color with darker spots and bars and some irregular lighter shapes. It gets the name from the transparent area of skin on either side of its pointed nose. Clearnose skates have a row of thorns along the middle of the back and tail. It has a typically flattened disc, and the disc width is formed by head, pectoral fins, and tail. The disc width is recorded to be 18.9 in. The Clearnose skate teeth in the upper jaw, are more numerous than in the lower jaw.

Fun Facts about Brier Skate, an interesting and intelligent fish.

How cute are they?

The Clearnose skates are cute as they are a relatively smaller skate species; their methods of fertilization and incubation and the ability to survive on the lowest levels of water body make them unique species of fish. They attract with their typical shape of the flat disc.

How do they communicate?

Clearnose skates have mechanoreceptors comprising neuromast receptor organs. These receptor organs help the skate detect water movements caused by current, predators, or prey. They are electrosensitive and use specified organs to detect electrical signals. They use these electrical discharges to communicate socially.

How big is a Clearnose Skate?

The Clearnose skate (Raja eglanteria) is relatively smaller than a regular skate. It is six times smaller in length than that of a Common Skate.

How fast can a Clearnose Skate swim?

The exact speed of swimming is not known. But the eglanteria Skate are known for punting or benthic locomotion; they punt or walk through the benthic floor of sea waters with neuromasts' help. These electric reflexes by neuromast sensory organs help them in fast benthic locomotion and swimming.

How much does a Clearnose Skate weigh?

The weight of this fish is not established. However, it could be estimated to be 40 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female skates are called male Clearnose skate and female Clearnose skate.

What would you call a baby Clearnose Skate?

The baby Clearnose skates are referred to as young or newborn Clearnose Skates or hatchlings.

What do they eat?

The eglanteria Clearnose skate feeds on shrimps, crabs, and small fish.

Do they bite?

The Clearnose Skates are non-venomous and non-aggressive by nature. These skates do not bite or sting humans and hence don't cause any harm to them. However, these skates use their pointed teeth to bite their prey, and male Clearnose skates will bite females in the pectoral fin region during mating. Clearnose skates have thorns on their back which might harm humans if they manhandle these skates or step on them by mistake.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not ideal to have this Rajidae species fish as a pet as they grow larger in size than the aquarium and are harmful to other fishes as they prey on small fishes.

Did you know...

The Clearnose skate scientifc name is Raja eglanteria.

When a female lays an egg, it begins to grow gradually. Initially, the tail and head are developed. Organs grow, and the dorsal surface is formed. Soon the embryo becomes large enough for the egg case and it breaks the egg case by developing its tail and pectoral fin.

An egg case begins to form before ovulation. Egg cases have a horn at all four corners. Each horn has a respiratory canal at the base of its lateral edge. As the pair of eggs are laid, egg case formation is completed.

To move forward while punting, the eglanteria fish moors its pelvic fins into the seafloor and then pushes the fin toward its tail. During this action, the rest of the skate's body remains motionless.

These fish of Rajidae species have low-profile, dorsally positioned eyes that allow them to bury in the substrate while keeping the eyes uncovered and are also able to cover 360° view around their dorsal surfaces.

Little Skate vs. Clearnose Skate: the Raja eglanteria skate is slightly lengthier than Little Skate. The Little Skate's disc is round-shaped and the Brier skate disc is roughly rhombic or diamond-shaped.

Can you eat Clearnose Skate?

The wings of these fish are edible to humans. They are added in soups and dishes, especially for children, as they are an excellent healthy low-fat protein source.

Are Clearnose Skates dangerous?

These species of skate fish are non-aggressive, and in general, the skates are not venomous. They have thorn-like spines on their tail. These thorns will injure a person if they come in contact with this fish. Also, the Clearnose skate bite causes minor injury. Hence the danger to humans is extremely low.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish, including herring, or fluke fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Clearnose Skate coloring pages.



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