Bowmouth guitarfish (Mud skate)
Distribution and Habitat
- Occurs widely in the tropical coastal waters of the western Indo-Pacific – Red Sea and East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to Japan, south to New South Wales, Australia, at depths of up to 90 m
- Usually found near the sea floor, Rhina ancylostomaprefers sandy or muddy areas near underwater structures.
About the fish
- This fish can be said to be a combination of shark, skates and guitar fish.
- Maximum size 2.7 m, weight – 135 kg
- It has a wide body with a rounded snout and large shark-like dorsal and tail fins.
- The medium-sized eyes and large spiracles, is clearly distinct in the head.
- It has multiple thorny ridges over its head and back.
- It has grey or brownish colour above numerous white spots on fins, body and tail, and under part is white.
- It has black spots on head and shoulders but no eyespots.
- The five pairs of ventral gill slits are positioned close to the lateral margins of the head.
- It is a strong-swimming predator of bony fishes, crustaceans, and molluscs.
- Jaws are armed with heavily ridged, crushing teeth in undulating rows
- Exhibit ovoviparity, this species gives live birth to litters of two to eleven pups, which are nourished during gestation by yolk.
- IUCN has assessed it as Vulnerable because it is widely caught by commercial fisheries for its valuable fins and meat.