Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: RHINOBATIDAE, Guitarfish, Guitarfishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head long, flat, triangular
elongate body
2 Ds, on center large thick tail
C large



Small to large guitarfishes (to 1.7 m) fishes characterised by a flattened, triangular head that incorporates the fused pectoral fins, that disc wedge-shaped or shovel shaped; snout often elongate; body elongate, relatively narrow, depressed; eyes and spiracles medium to large, on upper surface; spiracles with 1-2 variably developed folds; mouth, nostrils and gill slits on the underside; nostrils short, very oblique, no nasal curtain, flaps often very broad, inserted on inner edge of nostril or insertions extending slightly into space between nostrils; mouth profile ~straight to weakly convex; jaw teeth in low pavement-like bands; a pair of similar-sized dorsal fins on the top of the large, thick tail, 1st dorsal fin behind pelvics; tail depressed, with well developed lateral skin folds along lower sides; pelvic fins with a single, moderately expanded lobe, well developed tail fin that lacks a lower lobe; skin covered with fine denticles, a row of small thorns variably developed along midline, plus patches near eyes and on shoulders, and snout.

The family contains 7 genera and about 45 species, with 3 species in 1 genus in our region.