Batoids: Order Rhiniformes:

Sharkfin Guitarfish 1 species

Cladogram of the batoids,
showing the position 
of the Sharkfin Guitarfish

Sharkfin Guitarfish (Rhina anclyostoma)
Sharkfin Guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma)

Distinctive jaws of Rhina ancylostoma reveal why this shark is sometimes called the Bowmouth Guitarfish

The Sharkfin Guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma) is also known as the Bowmouth Guitarfish, named for its distinctive mouth which undulates like a longbow. It feeds on crabs and shrimps by first restraining the prey against the seabottom using its large head and pectoral fins, then with a series of short, sharp thrusts manipulating the prey into its mouth. This species grows to a length of more than 9.5 feet (2.9 metres), and although it may inhabit depths as great as 295 feet (90 metres) has been maintained in captivity for up to seven years. It typically has four to nine pups per litter, each about 18 inches (45 centimetres) in length. Color changes with growth: juveniles are brown with partial ocelli (ring-shaped spots) over the pectoral fins and black bars between the eyes; adults are grey with small white spots, and the dark bars between the eyes are faint and indistinct.


ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations R. Aidan Martin
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