The body of the thornback ray has the kite shape that is typical of the skates and rays. As its name suggests it has thorns on its upper surface particularly from the root of the tail down to the dorsal fins at its tip.
The spotted ray has a concave, curved snout and the typical ray wings. The young spotted ray has small spines on the upper surface near the front edge and in the adults these extend further back.
The cuckoo ray is one of the rarer of the European rays and has the typical ray shape with comparatively large rounded pectoral fins. There is a double line of spines down the tail and rear of the back.
The blonde ray has the common Rajidae kite shape with a relatively thick body and a short snout. The tips of the pectoral fins are angular and there are a line of spines down the mid-line of the tail.