Mobula munkiana

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The Munk's Devil Ray, or Smoothtail Mobula (Mobula munkiana) has only recently been described (1987). This is an inshore devil ray which is known to form in large aggregations and is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, from the Gulf of California, México to Peru. Migrations are likely driven by temporal changes in water temperature with local movements presumed to be associated with the distribution and abundance of planktonic crustaceans. Life history characteristics, limited distribution and exposure to many fisheries due to its highly migratory nature put this species at risk of over-exploitation. This species is known for breaching the surface, despite its small size of 870 millimetres. 

All Mobula are likely to be at risk of over-exploitation by both targeted and artisinal fisheries, due to their similar biological and behavioural characteristics. The lack of specific records of Mobula landings at the species level, mainly as a result of the difficulty in distinguishing between the different Mobula in the field makes assessment of the conservation status of individual Mobula species extremely difficult. 

As large species which feed low in the food chain, Mobula can be viewed as indicator species for the overall health of the ecosystem. Studies have suggested that removing large, filter-feeding organisms from marine environments can result in significant, cascading species composition changes.


Assessment information
CMS InstrumentsCMS, Sharks (2016)
IUCN StatusVulnerable
Date of entry in Appendix I2014
Date of entry in Appendix II2014
Geographic range
Countries Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru
Common names
EnglishMunk’s Devil Ray, Pygmy Devil Ray, Smoothtail Mobula
FrenchMante De Munk
SpanishDiabolo Manta, Manta Raya, Manta Violácea, Tortilla
Scientific name Mobula munkiana
Author(Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, 1987)
Standard referenceEschmeyer, W.N. (1990). Catalogue of the Genera of Recent Fishes. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California.

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