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the web of life in southern Africa

Mobula taracapana (Sicklefin devilray)

(Philippi, 1892)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Batoidei >  Myliobatoidei Mobulidae

Mobula taracapana (Sicklefin devilray) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]

Identification

A large, long-headed devilray with short head fins, subterminal mouth, a plain dorsal fin, pectoral disk with strongly curved, swept-back tips, on the pectoral fins, and upper disk densely covered with small, pointed denticles. Tail shorter than disk and without a sting. Colour dark blue above, white below except for broad blue-grey areas along front and rear margins of disk; blue fades to grey after death.

Size

To at least 3.0 m DW.

Range

East coast, Jeffrey's Bay, probably elsewhere in the area; circumtropical.

 

Habitat

Pelagic and coastal, comes close inshore.

Biology

Almost totally unknown. Eats small fishes and crustaceans. Known in the area from a single specimen washed up alive on a beach.

Human Impact

None.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale