Guitarfishes: Atlantic Guitarfish

ATLANTIC GUITARFISH
Pseudobatos lentiginosus

 

Atlantic Guitarfish
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Identification
Guitarfishes have body characteristics similar to both sharks and skates. The body is dorso-ventrally flattened and the pectoral fins are fused to the head, creating a triangle or heart shaped disc. The tail is thick ending in a well-developed caudal fin, typical of most skates. Two dorsal fins are located posterior to the pelvic fins. The combination of the disc shape and thick tail give this species its 'guitar' like shape (hence the name guitarfish). No spine on the tail. Snout is pointed with broad clear areas on both sides.

Habitat and Behavior
A demersal species found most commonly partially buried in sandy and muddy substrates in shallow coastal waters but reported as deep as 100 feet; occasionally occurs in estuarine and even freshwater habitats.

Feeding
Thought to feed on fishes and benthic crustaceans and shellfish.

Reproduction
Aplacental viviparity. Up to 6 pups per litter.

Size
Maximum total length up to 30 inches.

Human Factors
Non-aggressive species of no danger to humans.



FWC Facts:
Shrimping is done at night because at least two of the principal shrimp species harvested in Florida, the pink shrimp and the brown shrimp, are nocturnal.

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