A common legskate from southern Africa, misidentified for the last half century as Cruriraja parcomaculata, is redescribed as C. hulleyi. A number of morphometric and meristic characters are identified that distinguish C. hulleyi from C. parcomaculata ( = triangularis). Cruriraja hulleyi exhibits midback thorns in a continuous row above the anterior half of the abdominal region, the interdorsal space is usually greater than half the dorsal-fin base length, the clasper eperon is not bifurcate, and the clasper ventral surface lacks dermal denticles. Relative to C. parcomaculata, C. hulleyi is larger, has a shorter snout, smaller eyes, a more obtuse snout angle, fewer lower jaw tooth rows, more turns in the spiral valve, more nuchal thorns, exhibits scapular thorn patches and more predorsal midline thorns, and has a spatulate rather than pointed distal tip of the anterior lobe of the pelvic fin. The two species occur in allopatry, with C. hulleyi ranging from Namibia to the Eastern Cape Coast of South Africa and C. parcomaculata distributed from kwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to Mozambique.
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Vol. 2010 • No. 3