© Johan Boshoff




Wedgefish or Shovelnose shark

Scientific name



Guitarfish can be up to 3 m long.


Guitarfish have elongated bodies and their heads are long, triangular, flat heads. Their noses are round and triangular. Their tail fins are thick and large, similar in size to the dorsal fins. They are dark in colour with white undersides and are spotted on top at times.

General Info

Guitarfish belong to the Rhinobatidae family which comprises of seven genera and 45 species. Their moth, nostrils and gills are centrally located, and their eyes and spiracles are on top. The teeth are tiny, blunt and pavement-like in both the upper and lower jaw. This species is listed as threatened. They can be found in saline lagoons, at times. Being ovoviviparous, their young are born fully developed and up to ten young can be born at a time.


Guitarfish feed on bottom-living invertebrates, small fish and crustaceans.


They can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans across the world.

Common Species

Bowmouth guitarfish - Rhina ancylostoma
Giant guitarfish - Rhynchobatus djiddensis
White-spotted guitarfish - Rhinobatos punctifer

© Johan Boshoff