Batoids: Order Rhiniformes:
Sharkfin Guitarfish — 1 species
- snout broad and rounded
- dorsal fins shark-like and far forward on the body (over posterior part of pectoral fins)
- heavy ridges above eyes and down middle of head
- marine habitats in the Indo-West Pacific (from South Africa to the Red Sea, east to Australia and north to southern Japan)
- sole member of the family Rhinidae
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.