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Egg case of Common skate found by Gruinard Bay

Posted: Monday 15 December, 2008 @ 20:37:34

Gruinard bay egg case. The grid is of 1cm squares.

This egg case was found by the WRFT Biologist on 13th December 2008 washed up on a beach by Gruinard Bay. Some members of the shark family, including dogfish and rays produce egg cases. Because of the large size of this eggcase, I think it is that of a Common skate Dipturus batis. Please go to to find out more about egg cases.

The Common skate is the largest ray in European waters. Females can grow to 2.5m long and weigh 100kg. In recent years numbers have dwindled, and it is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list 2006. Although there are no longer commercial skate fisheries in the area and all rod caught skate are released, skate may still be taken as bycatch.

Female skate do not reproduce until they are about 10 years old. Around 40 eggs are laid each year in spring and summer, and the young fish hatch after two to five months. Its good to know that skate still breed in local waters. The waters around Wester Ross may now be of vital importance for the continued survival of this spectacular fish.

For more information about Common skate, please click here and here