Mobula birostris


Giant manta ray
Characteristic features:
Colour:

Dorsal surfaces black; shoulder patches pale to white, sometimes with dark spots, their anterior margins running parallel with the front of the head. Ventral surface mostly whitish with variable dark markings often present.

Size:

Attains at least 700 cm DW, possibly up to 910 cm DW. Size at birth unknown.

Distribution:

Circumglobal in tropical waters.

Habitat:

Pelagic, mostly along coastlines and with regular upwelling, oceanic islands and offshore seamounts.

Biology:

Feeds primarily on planktonic organisms and small fish. Males mature at ~375–400 cm DW, females mature at ~410–470 cm DW.

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 alfredi
Reef manta ray

Mobula alfredi

 

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

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