Mobula alfredi

Reef manta ray
Characteristic features:

Dorsal surgaces black, shoulder patches pale to white, sometimes with dark spots, their anterior margins curving inwards (not parallel with front of head). Ventral surface mostly whitish with variable dark markings.


Attains ~550 cm DW; size at birth 130–150 cm DW.


Circumglobal in tropical waters.


Pelagic, mostly inshore around coral and rocky reefs, and areas associated with upwelling.


Feeds mostly on planktonic organisms and probably small fish. In the South-West Indian Ocean males mature at ~300 cm DW and females at ~ 390 cm DW. Gestation period of 12–13 months.

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught as bycatch of the gillnet fisheries targeting skipjack tuna. Utilised for its gill filter plates (very high value), meat, cartilage and skin.

Similar species:

Mobula birostris
Giant manta ray

Manta birostris1


Mobula birostris differs in having a calcified lump containing a small embedded spine behind the dorsal fin (vs. no calcified lump with embedded spine present) and white shoulder patch anterior margin running parallel with front of head (vs. shoulder patch anterior margin curving inward).

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