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Bowmouth Guitarfish

Bowmouth Guitarfish
Scientific Name
Rhina ancylostoma
Other Common Name(s)
Mud Skate, Shark Ray, Sharkfin Guitarfish
Body Length

Up to 3 m

Coastal waters and around coral reefs in the Indo-West Pacific
Fun Facts

Fun Facts

  • The bowmouth guitarfish is so called because of its distinctive body shape. Although its large dorsal fins and strong tail make it look like a shark, it is in fact a type of rays.

  • The bowmouth guitarfish are found near sandy or muddy seabed. It locates its prey by smell, and with its broad head and pectoral fins, presses its prey against the seabed. It then swallows it with its mouth, which is on the underside of its body.

Threats & Conservation

IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered
IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered

Bowmouth guitarfish are under threat because they are often caught by fisheries in Southeast Asia, either targeted or as bycatch. Both their flesh and fins are eaten. With a late sexual maturity and low reproductive rate, the guitarfish population is particularly vulnerable to fishing. Its habitat is also being undermined by pollution, the use of explosives in fishing and the declining condition of corals.

Do not consume bowmouth guitarfish or other threatened fishes!

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