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| Common names: devil ray (English), mobula (English), diablo (Espanol), manta (Espanol) |
Mobula thurstoni (Lloyd, 1908)
Smoothtail devil ray, Smoothtail mobula
Head projecting relatively short, with pair of 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 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 moderately long (about 60% of disc width in adults), with its base flattened, without spine; upper surface of body with scattered denticles.
Dark blue to black on upper surface; inside mouth pale; dorsal fin with white tip; underside mainly white, becoming silvery towards pectoral fin tips, a dark greenish patch usually evident on each side near posterior edge of pectoral fin.
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: to 100 m.
Probably tropical circumglobal, known for certain from the eastern and western Pacific, eastern Atlantic, and Indian Ocean; ranges from the central Gulf of California to Chile.