Bowmouth Guitarfish: Babies of the S.E.A.

Bowmouth Guitar Fish breeding at S.E.A. Aquarium
Bowmouth Guitar Fish pups at S.E.A. Aquarium

 

By Amanda Leong Suk Teng, Aquarist at S.E.A. Aquarium

On 6 November 2015, we welcomed two Bowmouth Guitar Fish (Rhina ancylostom) pups at the S.E.A. Aquarium. At birth, the male pup weighed 580g and the female pup weighed 670g at birth.

The Bowmouth Guitar Fish is commonly known as a Sharkray because it has the head of a ray and the body of a shark.

Now, our male pup has grown to approximately 5kg while the female pup is 4kg. We feed them a variety of cut fish, prawn, crabs and squid. As juveniles, they gain about 20 to 30g a day and can grow to about 150kg at about 3m long.

Bowmouth Guitar Fish breeding at S.E.A. Aquarium
Bowmouth Guitar Fish pup

The Bowmouth Guitar Fish is listed as Vulnerable on the IUNC Redlist. They were commonly found in Southeast Asia but their number is dwindling due to overfishing for their fins.

The birth of the Sharkrays is exciting news for us because at the time of their birth, no other aquarium facility had been successful in breeding them.

I’m part of the dedicated team of Aquarists who have been taking care of these pups. We’re sharing and collaborating with Aquarists worldwide who are interested in breeding and protecting this very special species of shark.

In a few months, you’ll be able to find the juvenile Sharkrays at the Shipwreck Habitat. Meanwhile, we’re still learning as much as they can from the babies and are preparing for the birth of more pups.

 

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