Painted Ray (Raja microocellata) are a very easy to distinguish between the species of skate as they have striped streaky patterns and blotches along their body – this gives them the impression that they have been painted!
Rays are related to sharks and share many of the same characteristics such as having a body made out of cartilage, rough skin made from dermal denticles (or ‘skin teeth’) to give them an aerodynamic advantage in the water, and gill slits to breathe.
Rays have small openings called spiracles above their eyes on top of their body which allows them to breathe if they are sitting on the floor.
What do they eat?
Crustaceans, small fish
Where are we?
North Atlantic, UK coasts