Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Mobula species A, Caribbean Manta

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mouth opens at front of snout, pale
behind last gill slit: 0-2 small dark spots
pale shoulder blotch - oval inside, hook outside
lower teeth: band 77% mouth width, 9-11 rows

Mobula species A

Caribbean Manta

Head relatively wide, projecting with a pair of paddle-like extensions; large triangular "wings" (pectoral fin flaps); mouth at front of head, relatively wide; teeth in lower jaw only, those in a band that spans 77% of width of jaw, in 9-11 rows; tail long and whip-like, with a spine largely encased in a calcified mass; skin of top and bottom of disc without longitudinal ridges, densely embedded with non-overlapping, non-uniformly distributed small knob-like denticles, denticles on lower surface slightly larger.

Black above; mouth whitish to cream; with or without whitish patches on shoulders, if present those patches oval & with a short rear facing hook on outer front side, front edge of shoulder patch runs from spiracle to a line parallel to edge of top jaw; underside white, with dark grey to black spots and patches on rear of pectoral fins, behind last gill slits, no spots centrally between gill slits, 0-2 small semicircular black spots behind last gill slits, rear of pectoral fin dark along outer half or all of fin edge

Size: to at least 5 m disc width.

Habitat: inshore and nearshore pelagic.

Depth: 0-200 m?

North Carolina through the Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Appendix II
  • Listed
Length Max
  • 500
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 200