Acroteriobatus leucospilus (Norman, 1926)
Grayspottted guitarfish
photo by Henlé, C.

Family:  Rhinobatidae (Guitarfishes)
Max. size:  56.5 cm TL (male/unsexed); 96 cm TL (female)
Environment:  demersal; marine; depth range 0 - 100 m
Distribution:  Western Indian Ocean: South Africa, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
Diagnosis:  Vertebrae: 200-205. This medium-sized species is distinguished by the following set of characters: dorsal surface smooth, no prominent thorns or tubercles, except for slightly enlarged granular denticles partially around orbital rims, and rather regularly distributed along midline from nape to near first dorsal-fin origin, none between dorsal fins and upper caudal fin; snout semi-translucent with elongated bluish spots giving stripe-nosed appearance, numerous small bluish spots covering the snout, pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, and caudal fins but not the central disc, on a sandy brown background with darker brown spots of varying sizes covering the disc, tail, fin bases, and fins, and sometimes giving the caudal peduncle a striped appearance, the outer edges of pectoral- and pelvic-fin margins blue, while lateral tail folds white or striped blue and brown and ventral surface white; nasal lamellae 37-41; upper jaw tooth row count ca. 60-75; post-synarcual centra 187-192; total vertebral segments 200-205; total pectoral skeleton radials 63-70 (Ref. 124452).
Biology:  Found inshore from the surf line to a depth of 100 m (Ref. 5578, 11228). Feeds on bivalves, gastropods, shrimps, crabs and small bony fishes (Ref. 5578). Common length 92-96 cm TL; males and females mature at about 56 cm TL and birth size ca. 25 cm TL (Ref. 114953). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Flesh esteemed (Ref. 3919).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN); Date assessed: 25 April 2018 (A2d) Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.