Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

Small-eyed ray

PeterVerhoogDSS_Smalleye_Raja microocellata _femaleThe small-eyed ray (Raja Microocellata) is a member of the family of rays (Rajidae) and the order of rays and skates.

 The Smalleyed Ray is restricted primarily to the Atlantic coasts of Northwest Europe, from the British Isles southwards to Gibraltar and northwestern Africa (Morocco and Western Sahara) (Stehmann and Bürkel 1989) and is most abundant in bays and other inshore sandy areas. It feeds on fishes. 

Eggs are oblong capsules with stiff pointed horns at the corners deposited in sandy or muddy flats.   Egg capsules are 6.6-10.0 cm long and 4.1-6.3 cm wide, and an individual lays about 54-61 eggs  in a year. 


  • Maximum length: 80 cm
  • Maximum weight: 4.5 kg
  • Maximum lifespan: ?
  • Habitat: 0 to 100 meter depth
  • CatchesTaken as a bycatch in trawl and set net fisheries, with most landings from the Bristol Channel (ICES Division VIIf). R. microocellata is commercially important for ports in South Wales, Devon and Cornwall in the UK. Exploitation in areas further south is not known. Due to its restricted distribution, inshore habitats and overall scarcity, albeit with areas of localised abundance, it may be at risk from overfishing and habitat disturbance. 
  • Status: Near Threatened’ on the international IUCN Red List (
PeterVerhoogDSS_Raja microocellata _egg

Egg of a smalleyed Ray (Raja microocellata), © Peter Verhoog







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