Although generally solitary, female shovelnose guitarfish may gather in large numbers in shallow waters from June to October, to give birth (4) (5) (7). By midsummer, males also move into these areas to mate with the females, after which both males and females usually leave the area (5). The female produces a single litter each year (1), potentially giving birth to as many as 28 pups (2) (5) (6), after a gestation period of 11 to 12 months (5) (7). The young measure around 15 to 24 centimetres at birth (2) (4) (5) (6). Male shovelnose guitarfish reach maturity at around 8 years, and females at around 7 years, with individuals living to at least 11 to 16 years (5) (8).
The shovelnose guitarfish feeds on a variety of bottom-dwelling invertebrates, such as molluscs, crustaceans and worms, and also on small fish (4) (5) (6) (9). Clam shells may be crushed in the jaws and spat out, before the soft, fleshy portions are consumed (5). There is a single report of a shovelnose guitarfish biting a diver, but the species is considered harmless to humans (2) (5) (6).