Undulate ray.

Undulate ray (Raja undulata)

The undulate ray is a medium-sized ray that has a brown back with distinct wavy, dark bands. Undulate rays are usually found on sandy bottoms in depths of up to 200m, but rarely close to the shore. They are estimated to live for over 20 years. The undulate ray is oviparous, with females laying laying around 30 eggs per year.

The conservation status of the undulate ray is listed as endangered on the Irish Red List for cartilaginous fish and by the IUCN Red List. Ireland is thought to be at the very northern edge of their range, which includes the Mediterranean Sea and inshore coastal waters of West Africa, and undulate ray populations seem to have become isolated from each other, with little mixing.

The Marine Sportfish Tagging Programme tagged 1,077 undulate ray between 1971 and 2008, mostly in the vicinity of Tralee Bay. Numbers of tagged undulate rays peaked in the 1980s and have not recovered. The length profile of undulates captured at Tralee Bay indicates that 17% were probably immature fish, indicating that Tralee Bay is likely to be a nursery habitat for this species. Undulate ray tend not to travel far, with 77% of recaptures within 10km of the original tagging location and a furthest distance travelled of 96km.