Shovelnose Ray – Species of the Reef


The Very Different Shovelnose Ray


These rays are a great thrill when you get one that is remaining still enough for you to get a good look it. Our divers always remark and remember the encounter as one to remember for years to come.
There is no wondering how this fish got its name, its big wide flat head and the way it works its way across the sand clearly resemble a shovel. They are also known as the guitarfish. Looking like a cross between shark, ray and fish the shovelnose ray is something completely different.

The shovelnose ray eats small crustaceans and are therefore seen around the base of reefs and grassy sea beds. When not feeding they like other rays they tend to bury themselves in the sand. So when diving keeping a close eye out and paying close attention to your surroundings you may catch one of these guys chilling out in the sand. But stay away as they are timid creatures and will probably take off as soon as you approach, so just check them out from a distance.

The shovelnose ray gives birth to live young and often twins, yes two at a time. The young normally stay around the area of their birth until they mature and start to wander off and explore areas of their own. They can grow up to about 1.8m or 6ft and have about 65-70 rows of teeth.

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1 Comment »

  1. I too ran into a shovelnose shark on the long weekend – pic here:http://twitpic.com/1im1wn
    Taken en route to the Cod Hole at Julian Rocks, Byron Bay. First time I have ever seen one – and like your divers, a huge excitment and something to remember for a long time.

    Comment by Taezar — April 27, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

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