Rhinobatos punctifer Compagno & Randall, 1987
Spotted guitarfish
Rhinobatos punctifer
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Rhinobatidae (Guitarfishes)
Max. size:  88.9 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; marine; depth range 70 - 150 m
Distribution:  Western Indian Ocean: Gulf of Aqaba, Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, Muscat (Oman) to Pakistan.
Diagnosis:  This species is distinguished by the following set of characters: disc wedge-shaped, its width 29-34% TL, length 1.2-1.3 times width; snout is relatively short, its length 2.2-2.6 times interspiracular distance, 3.6-3.9 times interorbital width in large males (2.9-3.4 in females); orbit diameter 1.2-1.7 times the spiracle length; nostrils are weakly oblique, their length 1.3-1.9 times internarial distance; mouth is narrow, its width 5.4-5.6% TL in large males (5.8-6.2% in females); posterior nasal flaps are broad; two spiracular folds, with outermost fold slightly taller than inner fold; ridges of rostral cartilage almost parallel, converging slightly anteriorly but not constricted medially; anterior cartilage subtriangular to sickle-shaped, usually blunt posteriorly; distance between fifth gill slits 2.8-3.1 times in ventral head length in large males (2.5-2.6 in females); prebranchial sensory pore patch distinct, extending to outer margin of first gill slit; postscapular sensory canal usually distinct, notched, with exposed lateral pores; inconspicuous thorn patches on the supraorbit and scapular region, with a single row along dorsal midline rudimentary; denticles are confined to anterior portion of dorsal fins, posterior two-thirds naked; dorsal fins are relatively tall, height of first 7.6-9.5% TL; pelvic-fin inner margin shorter than its base length; interdorsal distance 2.1-2.7 times first dorsal-fin base; dorsal caudal margin 2.1-2.2 times the preventral margin; upper jaw with ~76 tooth rows; snout angle 60-75°; pectoral radials 69-75; post-synarcual centra 175-184; nasal lamellae ~59, Colouration: dorsal highly variable, plain brownish to greenish brown, faintly or strongly marked with small white spots, ocellated, or with a combination of reticulations and ocelli; the posterior half of dorsal and caudal fins usually dusky or blackish; snout with a pale or dusky tip, no long teardrop-shaped marking (Ref. 123963).
Biology:  Demersal inshore on continental shelf to 70 m depth. Feeds on small crustaceans and fishes. Matures at ca. 62 cm TL; born at ca. 25 cm TL (Ref. 114953). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Produces litters of up to 7 pups (Ref. 114953).
IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT); Date assessed: 08 February 2017 (A2d+3d) Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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