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Rhynchobatus djiddensis  (Forsskål, 1775)

Giant guitarfish
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Rhynchobatus djiddensis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Rhynchobatus djiddensis (Giant guitarfish)
Rhynchobatus djiddensis
Picture by Dubosc, J.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Rajiformes (Skates and rays) > Rhinobatidae (Guitarfishes) > Rhynchobatinae
Etymology: Rhynchobatus: Greek, rhingchos = snout + Greek, batis, -idos = a sting ray (Raja sp.) (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 50 m (Ref. 30573).   Tropical; 35°N - 35°S

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 177 - ? cm
Max length : 310 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5578); max. published weight: 227.0 kg (Ref. 3919)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

A large guitarfish with large black eyespots on the pectoral bases, a distinctive black cross between the eyes, and rows of small white spots on the upper body; snout pointed and lower caudal lobe short (Ref. 5578). Olive-green above, white below (Ref. 5578). Mouths small and contain flattened, pavement-like teeth.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Indian Ocean: restricted to the Red Sea and the tropical western Indian Ocean to South Africa. Apparently misidentified with closely related species in the northern and eastern Indian Ocean and western Pacific (however, Ref. 5978 seems to present a reliable record from western Indonesia).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs inshore and in shallow estuaries (Ref. 5578). Feeds on crabs, lobsters, bivalves, small fishes (Ref. 5578) and squids (Ref. 37816). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Takes crayfish and pilchard bait. Flesh with excellent taste. Fins sought after in Asian markets (Ref. 30573).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures (Ref. 50449). With 4 young, about 43-60 cm in length (Ref. 37816), born in the summer (Ref. 3919).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : McEachran, John | Collaborators

Compagno, L.J.V., 1986. Rhinobatidae. p. 128-131. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3919)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2d+3d+4d)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5156   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00149 - 0.01017), b=3.12 (2.89 - 3.35), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (76 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.