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Published: 2017-06-11

Rhinobatos austini n. sp., a new species of guitarfish (Rhinopristiformes: Rhinobatidae) from the Southwestern Indian Ocean

Pacific Shark Research Center, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA Research Associate, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa Research Associate, Department of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA. 94118, USA
South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
Pisces new species Rhinobatos guitarfish elasmobranch Mozambique South Africa


Rhinobatos austini sp. n. is described from the southwestern Indian Ocean based on four specimens collected from the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa and from Mozambique. The new species, with one exception, can be distinguished from all other members of this genus by a prominent teardrop-shaped dark blotch on the ventral surface of its snout. Its closest congener, R. holcorhynchus, also has a prominent teardrop-shaped blotch on its snout, but the new species differs from it by a lack of prominent thorns and tubercles on it dorsal disc surface and a very striking dorsal surface colour pattern of paired spots, some forming darker transverse bands across its back. Geographically, these two species broadly overlap, but R. austini appears to be a shallow, more coastal species (<1–107 m) compared to R. holcorhynchus that has a mostly offshore (75–254 m) depth distribution.



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How to Cite

EBERT, D. A., & GON, O. (2017). <em>Rhinobatos</em> <em>austini</em> n. sp., a new species of guitarfish (Rhinopristiformes: Rhinobatidae) from the Southwestern Indian Ocean. Zootaxa, 4276(2), 204–214.