Ordines F., Baro J., Ramírez-Amaro S., Serena F., Sobrino I. 2017. First substantiated record of Raja asterias Delaroche, 1809 (Elasmobranchii: Rajiformes: Rajidae) in the Gulf of Cádiz, North-eastern Atlantic. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 47 (1): 101–106.
The Mediterranean starry ray, Raja asterias, considered endemic in the Mediterranean, has recently been reported by other authors from Atlantic fisheries in southern Portugal and northern Morocco. There has been, however, no substantiated record of the species outside the Mediterranean. This fact and the easiness of confusion of R. asterias with other species have probably prevented those records from being taken into account in the recent catalogue of North Atlantic elasmobranchs species, in the assessment of the population status of this species, and in recent annotated global checklists of chondrichthyans. In our study, a specimen of R. asterias was collected from the Gulf of Cádiz and its species identity was assessed based on morphological and molecular methods. The presently reported finding constitutes a substantiated record of R. asterias from the Atlantic. Based on this record, previously reported catches of the Mediterranean starry ray in the Atlantic should be confirmed, and if so, these populations should be included in future assessments of this vulnerable species and in the description of its geographic distribution.
Mediterranean starry ray, Atlantic record, morphological description, molecular evidences