Rhinoptera bonasus is one of fifteen species of elasmobranch fishes recorded in the Indian River Lagoon (Snelson and Williams 1982). The dorsal side is brown to olive lacking spots or other markings. The ventral side of the cownose ray is white or yellowish-white with brown edges. The pectoral fins, sometimes referred to as wings, are long and pointed. The square shaped projecting snout has an indentation in the center giving the impression that it is bi-lobed. Two small fins (rostra) project from the head. The mouth is small and located on the ventral side of the ray. The tail is whip-like with a spine at the base just posterior to a small dorsal fin. A defensive venomous barb is located at the base of the spine. Species of cownose ray are sometimes only distinguishable by the morphology and number of teeth.
- Bayly IAE. 1972. Salinity tolerance and osmotic behavior of animals in athalassic saline and marine hypersaline waters. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 3:233-268.
- Blaylock RA. 1993. Distribution and abundance of the cownose ray, Rhinoptera bonasus, in lower Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries 16:255-263.
- Collins AB, Heupel MR, Hueter RE and PJ Motta. 2007a. Hard prey specialists or opportunistic generalists? An examination of the diet of the cownose ray, Rhinoptera bonasus. Marine and Freshwater Research 58:135-144.
- Collins AB, Heupel MR, and PJ Motta. 2007b. Residence and movement patterns of cownose rays Rhinoptera bonasus within a south-west Florida estuary. Journal of Fish Biology 71:1159-1178.
- FFWCC. Undated Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Cownose Ray information page. Available online.
- FMNH. Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department. Cownose Ray information page. Available online.
- Neer JA and BA Thompson. 2005. Life history of the cownose ray, Rhinoptera bonasus, in the northern Gulf of Mexico, with comments on geographic variability in life history traits. Environmental Biology of Fishes 73:321-331.
- Smith JW and JV Merriner. 1982. Association of Cobia, Rachycentron canadum, with Cownose Ray, Rhinoptera bonasus. Estuaries 5:240-242.
- Snelson FF and SE Williams. 1981. Notes on the occurrence, distribution, and biology of elasmobranch fishes in the Indian River Lagoon System, Florida. Estuaries 4:110-120.
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