Giant Shovelnose Ray, Glaucostegus typus (Anonymous [Bennett] 1830)

Other Names: Common Shovelnose Ray, Common Shovelnosed-ray

A Giant Shovelnose Ray, Glaucostegus typus, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Anne Hoggett / Lizard Island Research Station. License: CC BY Attribution

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Glaucostegus typus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Giant Shovelnose Ray, Glaucostegus typus (Anonymous [Bennett] 1830)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north to central New South Wales. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west Pacific. 
Inhabits inshore and offshore areas, from the intertidal to offshore continental and insular shelves. Adults are found in deeper waters on the continental shelf. Juveniles usually occur inshore, amongst mangroves, in estuaries, and around atolls - and feed on sand flats and amongst mangroves at high tide. 


Feeds mostly on crustaceans, especially crabs and prawns.


Very little is known about the biology or population status of this species. Females and males appear to mature at between 155 and 175 cm total length (TL), and young are born at approximately 38 to 43 cm TL  (White et al. 2016).


Targeted and taken as bycatch in many artisanal and commercial fisheries throughout its range. In Asia, the flesh is sold for human consumption, and the fins from large animals fetch particularly high prices, creating a significant incentive for bycatch to be retained (White et al. 2016).
The compulsory introduction of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in the Australian northern prawn trawl fishery has reduced the number of large individuals taken in this fishery.


Although the species was described by Bennett, he was not mentioned in the original publication. Therefore the authorship should technically be "Anonymous". 

Species Citation

Rhinobatus typus Anonymous [Bennett] 1830, Memoir of the Life and Public Services of Sir Stanford Raffles: 694. Type locality: Sumatra, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Giant Shovelnose Ray, Glaucostegus typus (Anonymous [Bennett] 1830)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Anonymous [Bennett, E.T.] 1830. Catalogue of the fishes of Sumatra. pp. 686–694 in Lady Raffles (ed.) Memoir of the Life and Public Services of Sir Stanford Raffles. London 701 pp.

Compagno, L.J.V., Last, P.R., Stevens, J.D. & Alava, M.N.R. 2005. Checklist of Philippine Chondrichthys. CSIRO Marine Laboratory. Report 243: 1-103 

Compagno, L.J.V. & Last, P.R. 1999. Families Pristidae, Rhinidae, Rhinobatidae, Platyrhinidae. pp. 1410-1432 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068. 

Fowler, H.W. 1941. Contributions to the biology of the Philippine Archipelago and adjacent regions. The fishes of the groups Elasmobranchii, Holocephali, Isospondyli and Ostariophysi obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross in 1907 to 1910, chiefly in the Philippine Islands and adjacent seas. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 100(13): 1-879 figs 1-30 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 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 DOI:  Abstract

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. 

Macbeth, W.G., Vandenberg, M. & Graham, K.J. 2008. Identifying Sharks and Rays; A guide to Commercial Fishers. Sydney : New South Wales Department of Primary Industry 71 pp.

Moore, A.B.M. 2017. Are guitarfishes the next sawfishes? Extinction risk and an urgent call for conservation action. Endangered Species Research 34: 75–88 PDF available, open access

Naylor, G.J.P., Caira, J.N., Jensen, K., Rodsana, K.A.W., White, W.T. & Last, P.R. 2012. A DNA sequence-based approach to the identification of shark and rays species and its implications for global elasmobranch diversity and parasitology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 367: 1-262. PDF available Open access

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Séret, B., Last, P.R. & Naylor, G.J.P. 2016. 10. Guitarfishes. Family Rhinobatidae, pp 77-109; 11. Giant Guitarfishes. Family Glaucostegidae, pp 110-116. In: Last, P.R., White, W.T., Carvalho, M.R. de, Séret, B., Stehmann, M.F.W. & Naylor, G.J.P. (eds.) Rays of the World. Clayton South, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 790 pp.

Stead, D.G. 1963. Sharks and Rays of Australian Seas. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 211 pp. 63 figs.

Stephenson, P. & Chidlow, J. 2003. By-catch in the Pilbara Trawl Fishery. Final report to Natural Heritage Trust, 74 pp.

Stobutzki, I.C., Miller, M.J., Heales, D.S. & Brewer, D.T. 2002. Sustainability of elasmobranches caught as bycatch in a tropical prawn (shrimp) trawl fishery. Fishery Bulletin 100: 800-821.

White, W.T. & McAuley, R.B. 2016. Glaucostegus typus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41849A104018648. Downloaded on 27 July 2017.

Weigmann, S. 2016. Annotated checklist of the living sharks, batoids and chimaeras (Chondrichthyes) of the world, with a focus on biogeographical diversity. Journal of Fish Biology 88(3): 837-1037. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.12874 Abstract

Whitley, G.P. 1939. Taxonomic notes on sharks and rays. The Australian Zoologist 9(3): 227-262 figs 1-18 pls 20-22 

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:37027010

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened (AUS); Vulnerable elsewhere

Depth:to 100 m

Max Size:270 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map