Reef manta ray

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Reef manta ray
Dharavandhoo Thila - Manata Black Pearl.JPG
M. alfredi in the Maldives
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Myliobatiformes
Family: Myliobatidae
Genus: Manta
Species: M. alfredi
Binomial name
Manta alfredi
(J. L. G. Krefft, 1868)

The reef manta ray (Manta alfredi)[2] is species of ray in the family Mobulidae, the largest rays in the world. Among generally recognized species, it is the second-largest species of ray, only surpassed by the giant oceanic manta ray (a currently unrecognized species from the Caribbean region also appears to be larger than the reef manta ray).[3]

Reef manta rays are typically 3 to 3.5 m (9.8 to 11.5 ft) in disc width,[2] with a maximum size of about 5.5 m (18 ft).[3] Long included in M. birostris, the status of the reef manta ray as a separate species was only confirmed in 2009.[3] The reef manta ray is found widely in the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific, but with a few records from the tropical East Atlantic and none from the West Atlantic or East Pacific.[3][4] Compared to the giant oceanic manta ray, the reef manta ray tends to be found in shallower, more coastal habitats,[3][4] but local migrations are sometimes reported.[5] Manta birostris is similar in appearance to Manta alfredi and the two species may be confused as their distribution overlaps. However there are distinguishing features.


  1. ^ Marshall, A., Bennett, M.B., Kodja, G., Hinojosa-Alvarez, S., Galvan-Magana, F., Harding, M., Stevens, G. & Kashiwagi, T. (2011). "Manta alfredi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Gentle Giants". The Manta Trust. 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Marshall, Andrea; Compagno, Leonard; Bennet, Michael. "Redescription of the genus Manta with resurrection of Manta alfredi (Krefft, 1868) (Chondrichthyes; Myliobatoidei; Mobulidae)". ZOOTAXA (Magnolia Press) (2301): 1–28. 
  4. ^ a b "Manta Ray Research". Foundation for the Protection of Marine Megafauna. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Germanov E, Marshall A (October 22, 2014). "Running the Gauntlet: Regional Movement Patterns of Manta alfredi through a Complex of Parks and Fisheries". PLOS One (PLOS) 9 (10): e110071. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110071. PMC 4206290. PMID 25337865. 
  6. ^ a b Jaine FRA, LIE Couturier, SJ Weeks, KA Townsend, MB Bennett, K Fiora and AJ Richardson (2012)"When Giants Turn Up: Sighting Trends, Environmental Influences and Habitat Use of the Manta Ray Manta alfredi at a Coral Reef" PloS one, e46170. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046170