Acroteriobatus leucospilus (Norman, 1926)
Grayspottted guitarfish
Gryskol-sandkruiper,  Grayspot guitarfish,  Greyspot guitarfish
Acroteriobatus leucospilus
photo by Henlé, C.

Family:  Rhinobatidae (Guitarfishes)
Max. size:  56.5 cm TL (male/unsexed); 96 cm TL (female)
Environment:  demersal; marine; depth range 0 - 100 m
Distribution:  Western Indian Ocean: South Africa, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
Diagnosis:  Vertebrae: 200-205. This medium-sized species is distinguished by the following set of characters: dorsal surface smooth, no prominent thorns or tubercles, except for slightly enlarged granular denticles partially around orbital rims, and rather regularly distributed along midline from nape to near first dorsal-fin origin, none between dorsal fins and upper caudal fin; snout semi-translucent with elongated bluish spots giving stripe-nosed appearance, numerous small bluish spots covering the snout, pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, and caudal fins but not the central disc, on a sandy brown background with darker brown spots of varying sizes covering the disc, tail, fin bases, and fins, and sometimes giving the caudal peduncle a striped appearance, the outer edges of pectoral- and pelvic-fin margins blue, while lateral tail folds white or striped blue and brown and ventral surface white; nasal lamellae 37-41; upper jaw tooth row count ca. 60-75; post-synarcual centra 187-192; total vertebral segments 200-205; total pectoral skeleton radials 63-70 (Ref. 124452).
Biology:  Found inshore from the surf line to a depth of 100 m (Ref. 5578, 11228). Feeds on bivalves, gastropods, shrimps, crabs and small bony fishes (Ref. 5578). Common length 92-96 cm TL; males and females mature at about 56 cm TL and birth size ca. 25 cm TL (Ref. 114953). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Flesh esteemed (Ref. 3919).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN); Date assessed: 25 April 2018 (A2d) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Occurs in Natal and central Transkei (common). Caught by anglers, beach seines and trawlers. No commercial interest (Ref. 12484). Spearfishing of this species is illegal in Natal (Ref. 12484). Also Ref. 3919, 11228, 124452.

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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