Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Mobula thurstoni, Bentfin Devil Ray, Smoothtail Mobula, Smoothtail Mobula Ray

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

wing front edge - double curve
head & horns short
ventral: concave part front wing edge + dark blotch
tail long, no spine, base flattened
D - white tip
mouth under snout
ventral: white, green patch near rear edge
1.8 m

Mobula thurstoni (Lloyd, 1908)

Smoothtail Mobula, Bentfin Devil Ray, Smoothtail Mobula Ray

Head projecting relatively short, with pair of short horn-like extensions; large triangular "wings" (pectoral fin flaps) with a double bend to front margin; front edge of margin of pectoral fin curves up and over circular spiracle; mouth on underside of head; teeth in bands in both jaws, forming low, pavement-like mosaic; filter plates in gills with 15-20 side lobes, last lobe leaf shaped, separate at tips; tail long (=/> disc width in adults), with its base flattened, without spine; pelvic fins long, extend past pectorals; upper surface of body with scattered denticles.

Dark blue to black on upper surface, with a broad black band between eyes (only in live fish); inside mouth pale; white of underside reaches up behind but not above eye; dorsal fin with white tip; underside white, becoming silvery brown towards pectoral tips and rear edge; underside of concave part of front wing edge with dark blotch.

Grows to at least 180 cm disc width and 54 Kg; size at birth 65-85 cm disc width.

Habitat: pelagic in coastal waters. Often forms huge schools containing several hundred individuals.

Depth: 0 to 100 m.

Circumglobal; southeast corner of the Caribbean to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Pelagic fish eggs
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Appendix II
  • Listed
Length Max
  • 180
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 100