Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: RHINOPTERIDAE, Cownose Rays


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

disc rhomboid, width > length
1 D
tail > disc; no C
head large square, notch & flaps under front

FAMILY RHINOPTERIDAE

COWNOSE RAYS

Cownose rays are large (up to 2 m wide) rays, the disc is much broader than long; the head distinctly raised from disc, with a squarish, concave snout; front edges of pectoral fins form a separate projecting lobe under the snout that is divided at center of snout; eyes and spiracles on sides of head; mouth straight to arched, without fleshy papillae on its floor, teeth are in a pavement of 6-9 series of flattened plates, central series largest; tail with small dorsal fin at its base, whip-like, longer than disc width, often with poisonous spines; no tail fin.

The family occurs worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas; the single genus contains 10 species; 2 W Atlantic species in the Greater Caribbean.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MCEACHRAN & CARVALHO (2002)