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Rhynchobatus djiddensis

Rhynchobatus djiddensis (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Classis: Chondrichthyes
Subclassis: Elasmobranchii
Superordo: Rajomorphii
Ordo: Rajiformes
Superfamilia: Rhinobatoidea
Familia: Rhinobatidae
Genus: Rhynchobatus
Species: Rhynchobatus djiddensis

Name

Rhynchobatus djiddensis, Forsskål, 1775

Vernacular names
English: Giant guitarfish

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The giant guitarfish, Rhynchobatus djiddensis, is a species of guitarfish in the family Rhynchobatidae.
Taxonomy and range

The giant guitarfish was previously believed to range throughout a large part of the Indo-Pacific, but recent evidence has shown that it, as traditionally defined, actually was a species complex consisting of 4 different species.[1] In addition to the giant guitarfish, this complex includes the white-spotted guitarfish, the scientifically undescribed broadnose wedgefish and possibly the smoothnose wedgefish. With these as separate species, the giant guitarfish has a relatively restricted range: It is found only in the Red Sea and the tropical western Indian Ocean as far south as South Africa.[2]

Description

A large fish reaching up to 3.1m long and weighing as much as 227kg. In colour it is white underneath and overall dark greyish or olive above. Large individuals lack the distinct white spots of the closely related white-spotted guitarfish (though some white-spotted guitarfish are essentially unspotted too). It is ovoviviparous, and a female can give birth to litters of up to 10 young.[3][2]

Diet

The giant guitarfish feeds on bivalves, crabs, lobsters, squid and small fish.[2][3]

Habitat

It is a shy fish, found from 2m to 50m depth, inhabiting areas with sandy sea floor. These are generally around coastal reefs or reef flats, but they will sometimes venture into the brackish waters of estuaries.[2][3]

Interaction with man

The giant guitarfish is harmless to humans. It is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list as its population are believed to have declined significantly due to unregulated high levels of exploitation for its flesh and fins;[1] the latter for shark fin soup. Its low fecundity and presumed slow growth rate make it highly vulnerable to unsustainable exploitation.[1]

References

1. ^ a b c Dudley, S.F.J. & Cavanagh, R.D. (2006). Rhynchobatus djiddensis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 28 September 2009.
2. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2007). "Rhynchobatus djiddensis" in FishBase. 7 2007 version.
3. ^ a b c Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. (2004) Coral reef guide; Red Sea London, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-715986-2

Biology Encyclopedia

Fish Images

Source: Wikispecies ,Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License