Mobula rochebrunei

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The Lesser Guinean Devil Ray (Mobula rochebrunei) is one of the smallest of the genus Mobula, only growing to approximately 1300 millimetresMobula are slow-growing, migratory, planktivorous animals with small, highly fragmented populations that are sparsely distributed across the tropical and temperate oceans of the world. Lesser Guinean Devil Rays are found in the eastern Atlantic from Mauritania to Angola along the West African coastline, either at the surface or close to the bottom.

This species of Mobula is particularly susceptible to over-exploitation in fisheries, as it is known to only produce one pup per litter. Mobula rays are caught in commercial and artisanal fisheries throughout their global warm water range in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Directed fisheries primarily utilize harpoons and nets, while significant bycatch occurs in purse seine, gill and trawl net fisheries targeting other species, including on the high seas. A recent surge in demand for mobula ray products (gill plates) in China and reports of increased direct fishing effort in key range states suggests an urgent and escalating threat to these species. The Lesser Guinean Devil Ray is classified by the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable as a result of continuing, unregulated, high levels of exploitation throughout much of its range. 

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 Angola, Brazil, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal
Common names
EnglishLesser Guinean Devil Ray
FrenchPetit Diable de Guinée
SpanishDiablito de Guinea
Scientific name Mobula rochebrunei
Author(Vaillant, 1879)
Standard referenceEschmeyer, W.N. (1990). Catalogue of the Genera of Recent Fishes. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California.
SynonymsCephaloptera rochebrunei (Vaillant, 1879)

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