Western Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema vincentiana (Haacke 1885)

Other Names: Guitar Fish, Shovelnose Shark, Southern Shovelnose Ray, Southern Shovel-nose Ray, Southern Shovelnose-ray, Yellow Shovelnose Ray

Western Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema vincentiana. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A yellowish-brown ray covered in cloudy blotches, with usually a brown "mask" around the eyes, and a whitish underside with dark fleck. Juveniles and some adults have a small dark blotch on the tip of the snout.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Aptychotrema vincentiana in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/1837

Western Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema vincentiana (Haacke 1885)

More Info


Corner Inlet, Victoria, and Kent Island, Tasmania, to northwest of Port Hedland, Western Australia. Inhabits seagrass beds and sandy areas in sheltered bays, estuaries, coastal and offshore waters.


Vertebrae 167-171.
Body elongate, depressed, tapering posteriorly, with ridge-like lateral skin folds past ventral fins; precaudal pits absent. Disc formed by union of head and pectoral fins wedge-shaped, shorter than body posterior to it; snout elongate, rather pointed, length to mouth about three times mouth width;  eyes small;  spiracle without skin folds; mouth moderately arched; teeth of equal size; five pairs of gill slits on underside of head. Midline of disc behind eyes with a row of smaller thorns extending posteriorly to second dorsal fin; orbital and shoulder thorns present.
Two widely separate, prominent dorsal fins posteriorly on back behind disc, both behind pelvic fins; second smaller than first; anal fin absent; caudal fin without well developed lower lobe.  


Dorsal surface greyish-brown or yellowish;  a broad dark suborbital bar extending from margin of disc to each eye; several large dark blotches on body; juveniles often lacking dark markings; ventral surface whitish.

Similar Species

The similar Aptychotrema rostrata differs in having a slightly longer snout, and in lacking dark blotches and the "mask" around the eyes.


The specific name vincentiana refers to the type locality, Gulf St Vincent, South Australia.

Species Citation

Rhinobatus vincentianus Haake 1885, Zool. Anz. 8: 488-509. Type locality: St. Vincents Gulf, South Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Western Shovelnose Ray, Aptychotrema vincentiana (Haacke 1885)


Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp. 

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Torpedinidae to Rhinobatidae. pp. 101-107 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

Haacke, W. 1885. Über eine neue Art uterinaler Brutpflege bei Wirbelthieren. Zoologischer Anzeiger 8(202): 488-490. (name only, no description) See ref at BHL

Haacke, J.W. 1885. Diagnosen zweier bemerkenswerther südaustralischer Fische. Zoologischer Anzeiger 8(203/4): 508-509 See ref at BHL

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs. 

Jones, A.A., Hall, N.G. & Potter, I.C. 2010. Species compositions of elasmobranchs caught by three different commercial fishing methods off southwestern Australia, and biological data for four abundant bycatch species. Fishery Bulletin 108(4): 365-381.

Kempster, R.M, Egeberg, C.A., Hart, N.S. & Collin, S.P. 2015. Electrosensory-driven feeding behaviours of the Port Jackson shark (Heterodontus portusjacksoni) and western shovelnose ray (Aptychotrema vincentiana). Marine and Freshwater Research 67(2) 187-194 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF14245

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp.

Last, P.R. 1994. Families Torpedinidae, Rajiidae, Rhinobatidae. pp. 154-172 figs 132-149 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. 

Last, P.R. & Séret, B. 2016. 12 Banjo Rays Family Trygonorrhinidae. pp. 117-126 in Last, P.R., White, W.T., de Carvalho, M.R., Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & Naylor, G.J.P. (eds) Rays of the World. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing, 800 pp.

Last, P.R., Séret, B. & Naylor, G.J.P. 2016. A new species of guitarfish, Rhinobatos borneensis sp. nov. with a redefinition of the family-level classification in the order Rhinopristiformes (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea). Zootaxa 4117(4): 451-475 https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4117.4.1

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. 

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. 

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

Morgan, D.L. & McAuley, R.B. 2015. Aptychotrema vincentiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T44186A68609294. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T44186A68609294.en. Downloaded on 04 September 2020.

Sommerville E., Platell M.E., White W.T., Jones A.A. & Potter I.C. 2011. Partitioning of food resources by four abundant, co-occurring elasmobranch species: relationships between diet and both body size and season. Marine and Freshwater Research 62: 54-65.  https://doi.org/10.1071/MF10164

Waite, E.R. 1921. Illustrated catalogue of the fishes of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2(1): 1-208 293 figs pl. 1 (as Rhinobatus philippi)

Whitley, G.P. 1940. The Fishes of Australia. Part 1. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney : Roy. Zool. Soc. N.S.W. 280 pp. 303 figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37027001

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-125 m

Fishing:Commercial bycatch

Habitat:Sand, seagrass beds

Max Size:100 cm TL


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