Reef Manta Ray (Mobula alfredi) - Marine Life - Liveaboard Diving
Reef Manta Ray (Mobula alfredi) - Marine Life - Liveaboard Diving

Reef Manta Ray

Reef Manta Rays are very popular with scuba divers. They are large, intelligent, curious, friendly and harmless. They can grow up to 5 metres from wing tip to wing tip, but are normally 3 metres across. Large individuals are often mistaken to be Oceanic Manta Rays, which are a different species in the same genus (Mobula). The Reef Manta has more spots on its underside and there is less contrast in the coloration on its back. The Oceanic/Giant Manta Ray (Mobula birostris) has more defined colouration on its back, usually in the shape of a T. The Reef Manta's back is more of a V or Y shape, and less defined.

Until recently, these species were classified in their own genus, but have now been mmoved to the Mobula genus, which has also meant that their scientific classification name has changed as well.

Manta Ray
Manta Ray
Credit: Johan Folmeus
Reef Manta Ray
Reef Manta Ray
Credit: Johan Folmeus
Reef Manta Ray Mobula alfredi
Scientific Rank
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata (Chordates)
Class:
Chondrichthyes: Cartilaginous fish
Order: Myliobatiformes (Rays)
Family: Mobulidae (Mobulidae)
Genus: Manta (Manta)
Species: Mobula alfredi
Size
Average Size: 3 metres - 5 metres

Manta Rays are wonderful creatures, and make a scuba dive very special if you're lucky enough to encounter them. They are harmless to humans, inquisitive, playful and extremely intelligent. They have the largest brain to body size ratio of any fish. If you're ever lucky enough to see a Manta Ray while diving, do not approach or try to follow it. With its huge wing-like pectoral fins, it can swim a lot faster and further than you can, and it will just lead you out into the open. Then it will most likely turn around and visit your dive buddy or group. Divers should just remain at a safe depth and together. The ray will often come back to say hello again.

If some experts notice that one or more of the images on this page are of Oceanic Manta Rays, please contact us or comment. Our website is constantly being updated.

No Troubles Just Bubbles' divers who recently saw Reef Manta Ray

Delacroix Guillaume
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: MV Koon 9
Trip destinations: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
When: Feb 2024
Julianne Coates
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: The Junk
Trip destinations: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck
When: Jan 2024
Kira
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: MV Pawara
Trip destinations: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
When: Jan 2024
Cinny
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: MV Camic
Trip destinations: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck, 813 Wreck
When: Jan 2024
Be
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: Manta Queen 2
Trip destinations: Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck
When: Dec 2023
Kent Hoddle
Spotted in: Maldives Maldives
Diving from boat: MV Emperor Serenity
Trip destinations: North Male Atoll, South Male Atoll, Ari Atoll, Rasdhoo Atoll, Vaavu Atoll
When: Nov 2023
Xin
Spotted in: Indonesia Indonesia
Diving from boat: Komodo Sea Dragon
Trip destinations: Komodo
When: May 2023
Anne
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: The Junk
Trip destinations: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck
When: Apr 2023
Sandy Boe
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: Lapat
Trip destinations: Koh Bon, Richelieu Rock, Surin Islands
When: Dec 2022
Tomas
Spotted in: Thailand Thailand
Diving from boat: MV Gentle Giant
Trip destinations: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Koh Haa, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Phi Phi, King Cruiser Wreck, Shark Point
When: Nov 2022

Have you ever seen Reef Manta Ray when diving?
Is there anything you would like to add or change about the Reef Manta Ray?
Let us know your thoughts by adding a comment below.
Free Scuba Diver!
T-shirt & wrist band
+ Drybag or Beach towel

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.