Shark ray dies in mating accident at aquarium

702b3b50-83d6-4479-8bd6-fdbbbe6d5ced

Editor's Picks
Do I need an aquarium filter
Features Post
Do I need a filter for an aquarium?
07 February 2024
Features Post
How to set up an African biotope aquarium
01 February 2024
Fishkeeping News Post
AQUAH: A new UK aquatic and reptile show for 2024
17 January 2024
Practical Fishkeeping Readers' Poll 2023
Fishkeeping News Post
Readers' Poll 2023
07 August 2023


A rare Shark ray has died at a public aquarium in the U.S. following a freak mating accident.

The female Shark ray (Rhina ancylostoma) had only been resident at Newport Aquarium's Shark Ray Bay for a few days when an over-enthusiastic suitor attempted to mate with her - but instead of biting down on her dorsal fin to hold her still, he bit her abdomen and she later died from internal bleeding.

Staff at the aquarium are said to be heartbroken. "This is just a very unfortunate, kind of a freakish thing," said its general curator Mark Dvornak.

The aquarium was hoping the new female would be part of a successful breeding project.

Newport Aquarium is located in Kentucky and has the largest collection of Shark rays on display in the world.

The Shark ray - also know as the Bowmouth guitarfish - is the only member of the family Rhinidae, and hails from the western Indo-Pacific. It can reach 2.7m/8.9' in length, with females larger than males. It's listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to fishing as well as habitat destruction and degradation. Females give birth to up to eleven pups, measuring 45-50cm/18-20" in length.

Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See our latest subscription offer.

Don't forget that PFK is now available to download on the iPad.