Bowmouth guitarfish

Bowmouth guitarfish

name = Bowmouth guitarfish
status = VU | status_system = IUCN3.1
trend = unknown

image_caption =
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Chondrichthyes
subclassis = Elasmobranchii
ordo = Rajiformes
familia = Rhinobatidae
genus = "Rhina"
species = "R. ancylostoma"
binomial = "Rhina ancylostoma"
binomial_authority = Bloch & Schneider, 1801
The bowmouth guitarfish, bowmouth wedgefish, or shark ray [,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 Africa to 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 medial ridge runs down the body with lesser lateral ridges 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]


The bowmouth guitarfish feeds on shrimps, crabs and shellfish.


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 vulnerable on the IUCN red 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 Aquarium in Kentucky, USA. The two specimen are female "Sweet Pea" and male "Scooter".


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