BOWMOUTH GUITAR SHARK
BOWMOUTH GUITAR SHARK (Rhina ancylostoma)
The Bowmouth Guitar Shark, also known as Shark Ray, is actually a species of ray and the only member of its family (Rhinidae). Like the Smalleye Stingray, the Bowmouth Guitar Shark is a rare species that can widely be seen in the tropical coastal waters of the western Indo-Pacific. It is generally found near the sea floor, preferring sandy or muddy areas near underwater structures.
The Bowmouth Guitar Shark has a characteristic wide and thick body with a rounded snout.
Its distinctive mouth forms a W-shapped undulating line resembling a longbow, for
which it is named for. Heavy ridges of spiky thorns show over the eyes and back, which are
used in defensive butting. It has large, high pectoral fins, and a caudal fin with a distinct
lower lobe that is usually a feature of genuine sharks, even though it is a true ray. Its
dorsal side is bluish grey with a pattern of many white spots on the fins, body and tail, a
large blue-edged, black spot above each pectoral fin, and dark bands between the
eyes. The dorsal and tail fins are tall and shark-like, earning the species its alternative
common name of Sharkfin Guitarfish.
This species can reach a length of 2.7 meters and its bands of flattened teeth allow it to
crush crabs and shellfish. When seen swimming it is possible to notice that their body
shape is similar to that of a guitar!
PLEASE NOTE THAT AN ENCOUNTER WITH A BOWMOUTH GUITARSHARK CAN NEVER BE GUARANTEED ON A PARTICULAR DIVE!! This is what makes the wild so special; every day is just unique!