Common Name: Manta Ray
Scientific Name: Manta birostris
Description: With a black (and sometimes blue) back and white underside, the Manta Ray is shaped like a large flat diamond. Manta's are easily distinguishable by their large "horns" which protrude from the front of the head. These horns are often white or silver in color. The Manta Ray respires through five pairs of gills on it's underside.
Maximum Size: 760cm
Habitat & Range: Manta Rays are found in tropical and warm temperate seas all around the world. Manta's are most commonly encountered by divers at reef cleaning stations - areas where smaller fish (commonly cleaner Wrasse) clean Manta Rays by feeding on debris on the surface of their skin and in their gills.
Diet: Manta Rays are filter feeders, feeding on plankton, fish larvae, and other small water-borne organisms.
Lifespan: There is no certainty about the Manta Ray's lifespan but it is thought to live approximately 25 years.
Predators: Manta Rays are primarily threatened by large sharks and occasionally by Orcas.
Red List Status: Near Threatened