What’s that fish?28 Mar 2012
We’ve been having some great sightings at our dive sites in March. We especially like those where our divers are astounded and come back to us after the dive with a ‘what on Earth was that?’
They call them guitarsharks, banjo sharks, guitarfish or guitarrays. We’ve been very fortunate in the last couple of weeks, as we spotted them on several occasions – at Orimas Thila (check out our Shark & Ray Diver Specialty Course), Caves and Peak and even on the house reef.
First misidentified as a shark, it was changed to a ray upon further research. The tail has a typical shark-like form, but in many species the head has a triangular, or guitar-like shape, rather than the disc-shape formed by fusion with the pectoral found in other rays.
The mouth is well placed for eating bottom dwelling prey; guitarfish pump water in through spiracles on top of their heads, over the gills, and out through gill openings on the bottom of the disc.
You often find them buried in the sand with only their eyes sticking out, waiting for an unwary crab or a PD diver to wander by.