Latin name

Rhinobatos rhinobatos

Other names

Rhinobatos rhinobatos


Very similar in appearance to the blackchin guitarfish (Glaucostegus cemiculus), but generally smaller, with larger eyes, more widely spaced rostral ridges, a longer anterior nasal lobe, and a wider posterior nasal flap. The rostral ridges are widely spaced along their entire length. The anterior nasal flap reaches the inner nostril angle, the posterior nasal flap is broad. Spiracle with two moderately developed folds, the outer one more convex. Spines are relatively small, located along the inner margin of the orbits, between the spiracles, on the shoulders, and along the midline of the disc and tail. 

Features of fish fins

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. 

Fish colouring

The back is khaki-brown and the underside is white.


They inhabit the North Atlantic from the Bay of Biscay to Angola and the southern Mediterranean. 


It is a bottom dwelling fish. It inhabits sandy and muddy bottoms, from the intertidal zone to a depth of about 100 meters. Sometimes near rocky reefs.


Can grow to a length of about 147 cm (58 inches), but a more normal length is about 80 cm (30 inches). Maximum declared weight: 26.6 kg.


The fish move slowly just above the seafloor, sometimes resting on sand or mud and half covered by sediment.

Food and feeding habits

Common guitarfish feed on crustaceans, other invertebrates and fish. 


It is an oviparous fish that produces one or two broods of live calves each year, with four to ten fish in each brood. The gestation period is approximately four months. The young develop inside the female and are nourished first by the yolk sacs and then by the mother's uterine secretions.


This species lives near the coast and breeds in shallow waters. This makes it vulnerable. It is caught throughout most of its range, mainly as bycatch. Local fishermen catch common guitarfish with gillnets. 

Relationship with a person

The meat of these fish is salted and exported, and the fins are sold in Asia. 

Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Squad Rhinopristiformes
Family Rhinobatidae
Genus Rhinobatos
Species R. rhinobatos
Conservation status Critically Endangered
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 26,6
Maximum length, cm 147
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Common guitarfish

Tags: common guitarfish