Eastern Shovelnose Ray,
Long Snouted Shovelnose Ray
Eastern Fiddler Ray.
Banks shovelnose ray
East Australian shovelnose ray
Name: Aptychotrema rostrata
Body disc much longer than width. Snout
long and pointed with rounded tip.
Body tapers into broad tail
topped by two well developed dorsal fins of roughly equal size. Caudal fin triangular with indistinct lower lobe. Dorsum color olive to
sandy brown with vague darker blotches. Bold orange-yellow blotches often
visible in front of eyes but sometimes absent. Ventrum pale.
length 120cm. 13cm at birth.
waters to 60m. On sandy bottoms and sea grass beds.
Often adjacent to reefs.
and distribution: Eastern Australia from Moreton Bay in Queensland to
Jervis Bay in New South Wales.
on or partially buried in sand when not foraging for food.
Guitarfishes are ovoviviparous (yolk
The females uterus is
lined with tiny club shaped villi that provide nutrients for the young as they
develop. Litters number up to four.
South West Rocks, NSW. and Nelson Bay,
species: The Eastern Shovelnose
Ray is also known as the Long-snouted Shovelnose Ray. There is a sympatric
Short-snouted Shovelnose Ray (A.bougainvillii) which is said to be
slightly smaller, and have a proportionately shorter snout but this may simply
be a synonym of its longer snouted cousin.
to divers: Generally easy to approach with careful slow movements. I spent a
good five minutes swimming around one specimen looking for the best angle to
shoot from and the ray barely moved. Others have proven to be rather skittish
Diving logistics: The
Eastern Shovelnose Ray is a common inhabitant of bays along the NSW coastline.
Two of the best locations for this animal are Southwest Rocks and Nelson Bay but
they may be even more common in other places. Both locations are appropriate for
shore dives. Nelson Bay is tidal and requires some local knowledge.
Other diving locations submitted by readers:
Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras of
California. David A. Ebert
Reef Sharks and Rays of the World. Scott W. Michael. Sea Challengers.
and Rays - Elasmobranch Guide of the World. Ralf M. Hennemann. IKAN.