Common Names: Bowmouth guitarfish, bowmouthed guitarfish, Bow-mouthed angel fish, shark ray.
Latin Name: Rhina ancylostoma.
Family: Rhynchobatidae. Contains 2 genera and about 5 species. The genus Rhina is mono-specific.
Identification: Conspicuous rows of enlarged dermal denticles forming armor-like ridges between eyes and along centre line of back. Broadly rounded snout. Dorsal fins large and shark-like. Well developed caudal fin. Pectoral fins more distinct than in other sharkfin guitarfish. Dorsum predominantly brown or grayish with a covering of well defined light spots from mid-line of pectoral fins to caudal fin. Spots more prominent in juveniles. Juveniles also have vaguely teardrop shaped ocelli on each side of body inline with their pectoral fins. Mostly absent in adults. Ventrum white. Teeth ridged.
Size: Maximum length 3 meters. Length at birth 45cm. Max recorded weight 135kg.
Habitat: Rocky and coral reefs, sand and mud bottoms. Intertidal to about 90m. Often close inshore 1-20m.
Abundance and distribution: A wide ranging Indo-Pacific species. The bowmouth guitarfish can be found at the western extent of its range from the Red Sea south through East Africa to as far south as South Africa. It's eastern limit extends from Japan in the north to Papua New Guinea and New South Wales.
Behavior: Generally swims near substrate over sand or reef in search of prey but it is also occasionally seen swimming high up in the water column.
Diet: Feeds mainly on bottom dwelling crustaceans and mollusks - crabs, shrimp and clams.
Reproduction: Ovoviviparous (yolk sac viviparity). litter size 4.
Bowmouth guitarfishbowmouthed guitarfishBowmouthed angel fishshark rayrazorback rayrazorback skateRhina ancylostomaRhynchobatidaeecologyecology.orgecophotogtropicalcoral reefsunderwaterscubadivingIndoPacificskatesrays