The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is proud to announce the successful birth of six guitarfish, born October 10. An x-ray the previous week confirmed the mother was pregnant.
Hap Fatzinger, aquarium curator said, “Because of challenges x-raying other cartilaginous fish like sharks and rays, we were excited when our pregnancy suspicions were confirmed.”
Although not much is known about the gestational period of Atlantic guitarfish (Rhinobatos lentiginosus), the Aquarium staff is utilizing this and previous births to contribute to scientific research. The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is one of only a few U.S. institutions exhibiting Atlantic guitarfish. “We hope our work with breeding will help increase the numbers in public aquariums without relying upon collecting from wild populations,” Fatzinger said.
The Atlantic guitarfish can be found in the spring and summer months along North Carolina’s coast. Their range extends from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and south to Yucatan, Mexico. Common food sources include scallops, shrimp and small fishes.