"Well known to the general public as well as to divers, this is the world's largest ray. Each manta ray has a unique pattern of black spots on its stomach which helps to tell them apart. These black spots can spread across the entire stomach, making some manta rays appear entirely black.
They sometimes jump out of the water, but this is thought to be because they are startled or trying to remove parasites.
The word 'manta' also means blanket or cloak, which fits its large, flat body.
It has distinctive fins on either side of its mouth, developed from pectoral fins. These look like horns, so the manta is also known as the devilfish."
These rays can be found around Gatama Atoll coordinates C3, and southeastern Ciceros Strait, inhabiting Amphitrite's Sanctuary. They are mostly solitary in the Atoll, but the rays at the Sanctuary live in a large shoal.
These creatures swim in slow circles, patrolling the areas they live in. They like being stroked and having pictures taken of them.
- At Ship's Rest and in Ciceros Strait, the rays are only there during the daytime. At the Lagoon, the single Ray is also there only during the day, and is replaced by a Green Sea Turtle at night.
- In Gatama Atoll, the rays are always there, no matter the time of day or night.
- The greatest current threat to this fish is overfishing, as their liver oil and skin are highly sought after. Their meat is also eaten in some places, but is considered unattractive to consumers when compared to other fish.
- Manta Rays may live to be up to fifty years of age.
- To rid themselves of small parasites on their skin, like tiny copepods, they will often visit Cleaner Wrasses in coral reefs, who live up to their names and clean off the large rays.