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Mobula japanica (Müller &. Henle, 1841)
Dicerohatis japanica Müller and Henle, 1841; Cephaloptera japanica Müller and Henle, 1841; Spinetail Mobula; Spinetail devil ray

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Myliobatidae   Mobula

Mobula japanica
www.fao.org Copyright Michel Lamboeuf · 0
Mobula japanica

Click on map for details about points.


Main identification features
  • head narrow
  • dorsal fin tip white
  • tail long, surface rough, with spine
  • short keel over spiracle
  • belly: white
  • 3 m
Disc strongly rhomboidal, much wider than long; wings strongly pointed; head wide, projecting from disc; pectoral fins extend along head and form two large soft horns; eyes and spiracles on side of head; front margin of pectoral fin ends under spiracle; a short keel present over the spiracle; mouth ventral; small teeth on both jaws; length of tooth bands ~75% of mouth width; teeth long, twice as long as wide, scattered filter plates in gills separate at tips; tail long, slender with small dorsal fin at base, as long as disc width, with 1 large serrated spine, plus a row of soft tubercles along each side.

Upper surface dark blue to black; lower surface white; dorsal fin black with white tip.

Size: 310 cm wide.

Habitat: pelagic in coastal and oceanic waters.

Depth: to 30 m.

Circumtropical; southern California to the Gulf of California to Peru.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California); Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ).
Depth Range Max: 30 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: pelagic fish larvae; pelagic fish eggs; bony fishes; zooplankton; Pelagic crustacea.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=35; Southern limit=-9; Western limit=-121; Eastern limit=-78; Latitudinal range=44; Longitudinal range=43.
Egg Type: Live birth; No pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Planktivore.
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); TEP non-endemic; West + East Pacific (but not Central); "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Water column.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Offshore; In & Offshore.
IUCN Red List: Near threatened; Listed.
Length Max: 310 cm.
Regional Endemism: Continent; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Continent only; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Near Surface; Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Compagno, L.J.V., 1999., Checklist of living elasmobranchs. In Hamlett W.C. (ed.) Sharks, skates, and rays: the biology of elasmobranch fishes., The John Hopkins University Press:471-498.
  • Eschmeyer , W. N. , Herald , E. S. and Hamman, H., 1983., A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. Peterson Field Guide Ser. 28., Houghton Mifflin:336pp.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., Pérez-España, H., Chávez-Ramos, H., 1996., Systematics list of the fishes from Cerralvo island, Baja California Sur, Mexico., Ciencias Marinas, 22:295-311.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Müller , J. and Henle, F. G. J., 1839., Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen. Berlin., Plagiostomen, :27-102.
  • Notarbartolo di Sciara,., 1987., A revisionary study of the genus Mobula Rafinesque, 1810 (Chondrichthyes: Mobulidae) with the description of a new species., Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 91:1-91.


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Following modified from Australian Faunal Directory
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http://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/5634b743-7114-4d40-bde9-21e30e7a7820 ---> https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/5634b743-7114-4d40-bde9-21e30e7a7820
https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/5634b743-7114-4d40-bde9-21e30e7a7820 ---> http://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/ac706fa5-ccbc-49ec-a735-3dc857686c11;jsessionid=1E8A3BEAF7A2C41AB609768D06789E3A
http://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/ac706fa5-ccbc-49ec-a735-3dc857686c11;jsessionid=1E8A3BEAF7A2C41AB609768D06789E3A ---> https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/ac706fa5-ccbc-49ec-a735-3dc857686c11;jsessionid=1E8A3BEAF7A2C41AB609768D06789E3A
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Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
   Top | See original

Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Chondrichthyes  
 Order Myliobatiformes  
 Family Myliobatidae  
 Genus Mobula  
  Mobula japanica    (Müller & Henle, 1841) 
Provider: Pofeng Lee& Shoou-Jeng Joung 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Cephaloptera japanica Mobula japonica Mobula rancureli   details
Citation: 臺灣魚類誌(沈等, 1993); Sharks and rays of melaysia and brunei darussalam
Character: Disc very broad, nearly 1.7 as wide as long, anterior margins slightly convex. Posterior concave, angles acute, narrowly rounded at the apex. Head broad flat. Mouth wide inferior. Rostrum short, broad. Rostral fins moderate, distinct from the pectorals. Teeth on both jaws, small numerous, extending th the angles of the mouth. One dorsal fin. Origin of the dorsal a little in advance of the beginnings of the ventrals. Tail twice as long as body; rough, with a series of small white tubercles along each side; slender whiplike, with a serrated spine. Specimen in formalin dark dusky brown above; whitish below. 
Habitat: Found inshore, possibly in oceanic waters. Occurs singly or in groups. Feeds mainly on euphausiids, and to a lesser extent on copepods and crustacean larvae. May also feed on small fishes. Ovoviviparous. 
Distribution: Japan, Taiwan. 
Name Code: 383167
      IUCN Red List:NT      
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Following modified from FishBase
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http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?genusname=Mobula&speciesname=japanica ---> http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Mobula-japanica.html
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Mobula-japanica.html ---> https://www.fishbase.in/summary/Mobula-japanica.html
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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Mobula japanica (Müller & Henle , 1841)

Spinetail mobula Add your observation in Fish Watcher
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Mobula japanica   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Google image Image of Mobula japanica (Spinetail mobula) Mobula japanica
Picture by Khan, M.M.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Myliobatiformes (Stingrays) > Myliobatidae (Eagle and manta rays) > Mobulinae
Etymology: japanica: Named for Japan.   More on authors: Müller & Henle .

This species is considered as a junior synonym of Mobula mobular according to Last et al., 2016 (Ref. 114953 ) and White et al., 2017 (Ref. 115945:13 ). The species page will be removed,.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated, usually 0 - 200 m (Ref. 89423 ).   Subtropical; 40°N - 30°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: off South Africa, the Arabian Sea eastward to the Hawaiian Islands and Polynesia. Eastern Pacific: on the continental coast. Eastern Atlantic: Côte d'Ivoire but may probably be more wide-ranging. This has to be critically compared with Mobula mobular of the Mediterranean Sea and nominally elsewhere in the North Atlantic.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m 200.0 , range 198 - 205 cm
Max length : 310 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 50641 ); 240.0 cm WD (female); common length : 225 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 9256 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dark blue to black above, white below. Inner surface of cephalic fins silver grey with black tip, outer surface and side behind eye white (Ref. 11228 ). Shared characters between M. rancureli and Mobula japanica : teeth, placoid scales, and branchial filter morphologies, morphometrics, presence of tail spine, distinctive shape and coloration of dorsal fin, and general shape of body and coloration (Ref. 50641 ).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found inshore, possibly in oceanic waters (Ref. 9911 ). Pelagic (Ref. 58302 ). Occurs singly or in groups (Ref. 9911 ). Feeds mainly on euphausiids (mainly Nictiphanes simplex ), and to a lesser extent on copepods and crustacean larvae. May also feed on small fishes. Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449 ). Acoustic tracks record the species to spend time above the thermocline at night to feed on krill (H. Dewar, pers.comm. 05/2000). Very common by-catch of the gillnet fisheries targeting skpjack tuna ( Katsuwonus pelamis ). Utilized for its gill filter plates (very high value), meat, cartilage and skin (Ref.58048).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures (Ref. 50449 ). With one in a litter (Ref. 12951 ). Size at birth 85-92 cm WD (Ref. 12951 , Ref.58048 ).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : McEachran, John | Collaborators

Last, P.R. and J.D. Stevens , 1994. Sharks and rays of Australia. CSIRO, Australia. 513 p. (Ref. 6871 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744 )

  Near Threatened (NT)  ; Date assessed: 31 January 2006

CITES (Ref. 115941 )

Appendix II: International trade monitored

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Appendix I & II: Endangered migratory species conserved through agreements

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial FAO(Publication : search ) | FishSource |

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank( genome , nucleotide ) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Tree of Life | Wikipedia( Go , Search ) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 17.5 - 29, mean 27.4 (based on 5840 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 0.5005   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  3.4   ±0.43 se; Based on food items. Resilience (Ref. 69278 ):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Fec=1). Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Moderate to high vulnerability (55 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Medium .

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