Temporal range: Lower Eocene–Recent
|Giant guitarfish (R. djiddensis)|
J. P. Müller & Henle, 1837
Bloch & J. G. Schneider, 1801
Rhynchobatus is a group of rays commonly known as wedgefishes, and the sole genus in the family Rhynchobatidae. They are found in the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific with a single species (R. luebberti) in the eastern Atlantic. All species in this genus are assessed as Vulnerable or Endangered by IUCN.
The species are superficially similar and have often been confused. The various species can generally be separated by a combination of snout shape, vertebral count and exact colour (distribution of white spots, and presence/absence of a black spot at the base of the pectoral fin). The largest species can reach about 3 m (9.8 ft) and are among the largest species of rajiforms, but the smallest only reach around half that size.
There are currently seven recognized species in this genus: In the past all the Indo-Pacific species have been confused with R. djiddensis, which as presently defined is restricted to the western Indian Ocean.
- Rhynchobatus australiae Whitley, 1939 (White-spotted Wedgefish)
- Rhynchobatus djiddensis (Forsskål, 1775) (Giant guitarfish)
- Rhynchobatus immaculatus Last, H. C. Ho & R. R. Chen, 2013 (Taiwanese wedgefish)
- Rhynchobatus laevis (Bloch & J. G. Schneider, 1801) (Smoothnose wedgefish)
- Rhynchobatus luebberti Ehrenbaum, 1915 (African wedgefish)
- Rhynchobatus palpebratus Compagno & Last, 2008 (Eyebrow wedgefish)
- Rhynchobatus springeri Compagno & Last, 2010 (Broadnose wedgefish)
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2011). Species of Rhynchobatus in FishBase. February 2011 version.
- Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera (Chondrichthyes entry)". Bulletins of American Paleontology 364: p.560. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- Last, P.R., Ho, H.-C. & Chen, R.-R. (2013): A new species of wedgefish, Rhynchobatus immaculatus (Chondrichthyes, Rhynchobatidae), from Taiwan. Pp. 185-198 in: de Carvalho, M.R., Ebert, D.A., Ho, H.-C. & White, W.T. (eds.) : Systematics and biodiversity of sharks, rays, and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of Taiwan. Zootaxa, 3752 (1): 1–386.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Rhynchobatus in FishBase. October 2013 version.
- Compagno, L.J.V. & Marshall, A.D. (2006). "Rhynchobatus sp. nov. A". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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