Reef Manta Rays - Manta Trust

Creature Feature – Reef Manta Ray

The largest rays in the World, Manta Rays can be found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate ocean waters across the globe. “Manta” means blanket or cloak in Spanish and describes the look of the animals’ large, flat, diamond-shaped bodies, which are characterized by triangular pectoral fins. 

For decades, scientists thought there was just one species of manta ray. In 2008, researchers discovered that there are actually two distinct species: the reef manta ray, which tends to live along coastlines in the Indo-Pacific, and the giant oceanic manta ray, which lives in all the world’s major oceans, spending most of its life far from land

Reef Manta - Manta Trust


Scientific Name: Mobula alfredi

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Myliobatiformes

Family: Mobulidae

Genus: Mobula 


The Reef Manta Ray Fact File

? Size: Reef mantas have a wingspan of around 4m (13ft) and weigh up to 700kg

? Distribution: This species is widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the Indian and West Pacific Ocean

? Diet: Filtering zooplankton through their gill plates, a mantas diet consists of copepods, mysid shrimp, crab larva, mollusc larvae and fish eggs

? Behaviour: Like dolphins, manta rays are intelligent and perform collective behaviours such as foraging and playing. They are curious, often approaching humans, and individuals appear to have different personalities

? IUCN Status: Vulnerable. Like many ocean creatures, mantas are declining in numbers – threats include entanglement in fishing lines, demand for their gill plates and climate change affecting the abundance of the zooplankton they prey upon