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Temporal range: Lower Eocene–Recent[1]
Rhynchobatus djiddensis durban.jpg
Giant guitarfish (R. djiddensis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Rajiformes
Family: Rhynchobatidae
Garman, 1913
Genus: Rhynchobatus
J. P. Müller & Henle, 1837
Type species
Rhinobatus laevis
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).[2] 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.[2]


There are currently seven recognized species in this genus:[2][3] 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.[2]

An additional species is known, the roughnose wedgefish (Rhynchobatus sp. nov. A or 1), but it is still undescribed.[2][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera (Chondrichthyes entry)". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Rhynchobatus in FishBase. October 2013 version.
  4. ^ 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.