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Myliobatidae
EAGLE RAYS
Manta Rays

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Aetobatus narinari
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Aetobatus narinari
Aetobatus narinari
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Aetobatus narinari

Myliobatis californica
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Myliobatis californica
Myliobatis longirostris
www.fao.org Copyright Michel Lamboeuf · 0
Myliobatis longirostris

Myliobatis peruvianus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Myliobatis peruvianus
Myliobatis peruvianus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Myliobatis peruvianus

Myliobatis longirostris
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Myliobatis longirostris
Aetobatus narinari
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Aetobatus narinari

Rhinoptera
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Rhinoptera
Rhinoptera steindachneri
www.fao.org Copyright Michel Lamboeuf · 0
Rhinoptera steindachneri

Rhinoptera steindachneri
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Rhinoptera steindachneri
Rhinoptera steindachneri
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Rhinoptera steindachneri

Rhinoptera steindachneri
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Rhinoptera steindachneri
Rhinoptera steindachneri
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Rhinoptera steindachneri

Myliobatidae
© Copyright Clay Bryce, 2006 · 0
Myliobatidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • head distinct from angular, flat disc
  • 1 d
  • eyes on side of head
  • tail greater than disc, +/- spine, no c
FAMILY MYLIOBATIDAE

COW-NOSED RAYS, DEVIL RAYS, EAGLE RAYS, MANTA RAYS, MOBULA RAYS

These graceful rays are frequently sighted in the vicinity of reefs. Manta rays and others species can leap high above the ocean's surface. Characteristic features include a head that is distinct from the disc; the eyes and spiracles are on the side of the head; the disc has triangular "wing" flaps; and the tail is much longer than the disc (except in somebody mantas); some have one or more serrated venomous spines near the tail base. Young are born alive.

The family occurs worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas; there are seven genera containing about 43 species. Eleven species in 6 genera occur in our region.

The family Myliobatidae includes three subfamilies. The Eagle rays (Myliobatinae), have a nearly straight front to the face, and the fin under the snout has only one lobe. Cow-nosed rays (Rhinopterinae) and are identified by their squarish, indented snout, and the fin under the snout has two lobes. Eagle and Cownose rays have powerful jaws equipped with large plate-like crushing teeth arranged in several rows that are used for crushing molluscs. Sometimes form large spectacular aggregations. The manta rays represent the third subfamily (Mobulinae) within this group. These distinctive rays are easily recognized by the pair of large protruding flaps at the front of the head extending forward before each side of the mouth, the lateral eyes and spiracles, large wing-like disc that is much wider than long, the ends pointed, no tail spine or only a rudimentary spine and a small dorsal fin at the base of the tail. The head flaps are used to direct planktonic food items into the mouth. Some mantas grow to a width of nearly 7m and weigh more than 1300 kg; they are among the largest of fishes. Manta rays occur in all warm seas. The subfamily contains two genera and about 10 species. They are frequently seen from boats far out to sea and also are encountered by divers in the vicinity of reefs. Mantas can make spectacular leaps above the water surface


References
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Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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