Blonde ray

Blonde ray ┬ęPeter Verhoog

Blonde ray

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Scientific name: Raja brachyuran
This large skate has tiny, prickly spines all over its back.

Top facts


Length: Up to 120 cm
Weight: Up to 14.3 kg
Average Lifespan: Can live for up to 15 years

Conservation status

The blonde ray is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List.

When to see

Between June and August


The blonde ray is a large skate that lives close to the sea floor. It likes sandy areas where its ochre-coloured body is camouflaged against the seabed, hiding it from any predators.

Because they are a relatively large skate they can feed on cuttlefish and sandeels, as well as a variety of small crustaceans and molluscs.

What to look for

The blonde ray is large and diamond shaped, with small dark spots all over its back that extend to the edge of its wings, as well as a scattering of larger pale spots.

It could be confused with the spotted ray, but the spots on the back of the spotted ray don't extend to the very edge of the wings, as they do on the blonde ray.

Where to find

Found all around the UK.

Did you know?

The English Channel is an important breeding ground for blonde rays, with breeding usually occurring around April and July.