- Bowmouth guitarfish
name = Bowmouth guitarfish
status = VU | status_system = IUCN3.1
trend = unknown
phylum = Chordata
genus = "Rhina"
species = "R. ancylostoma"
binomial = "Rhina ancylostoma"
binomial_authority = Bloch & Schneider, 1801The bowmouth guitarfish, bowmouth wedgefish, or shark ray [http://www.adventureaquarium.com/index.cfm?sectionID=3,27,0,0 NJ Adventure Aquarium] - article identifies species as shark ray] ("Rhina ancylostoma") is a member of the order of
Rajiformes, being related to skates and rays. It is the only member of the genus"Rhina".
Red Sea, East Africato Papua New Guinea, north to Japan, south to Australia.FishBase_species|genus=Rhina|species=ancylostoma|year=2007|month=7]
It is a large fish, growing up to 2.7m long and weighing up to 135kg. The snout is round, and a spiny
medialridge runs down the body with lesser lateralridges and thorns over the eyes, on the back and shoulders. The jaws have undulating ridges of crushing teeth. It is white underneath and grey or brown above with many white spots on the body, fins and tail and black spots on the head. It is ovoviviparous.It does not have the distinctive ocelli of the giant guitarfish.Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. (2004) "Coral reef guide; Red Sea" London, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-715986-2]
Reported between 3m and 90m depth, the bowmouth guitarfish is usually found on the sea floor where it is muddy or sandy but may swim above it. The areas it inhabits are often close inshore, associated with
coral reefs and mangroves.
Interaction with man
The bowmouth guitarfish may be caught in
trawls but is difficult to handle and may damage the catch. Only the pectoral fins are eaten; these are preserved by salting or drying or used fresh. It is listed as vulnerableon the IUCNred list. A few are in public aquariums, such as the Adventure Aquarium.Many believe this particular species of fish to have been caught by Russian fishermen, and eaten, but not until after taking a video of the fish with a cell phone, then became the internet phenomenon known as the "Russian Alien Fish".The first breeding program for these is at the Newport Aquariumin Kentucky, USA. The two specimen are female "Sweet Pea" and male "Scooter".
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