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the web of life in southern Africa

Mobula thurstoni (Bentfin devilray)

(Lloyd, 1908)

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

Mobula thurstoni (Bentfin devilray) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A moderate-sized short-headed devilray with short head fins, subterminal mouth, a white-tipped dorsal fin, pectoral disk with swept-back tips having a prominent double bend to their front margins and upper disk sparsely covered with small, blunt denticles. Tail shorter than disk and without a sting. Colour dark blue to black above, underside white medially, silvery on pectoral fin tips.


To 1.8 m DW.


East coast, Algoa Bay, one found dead on a beach, also off Natal; circumtropical.



Pelagic and coastal.


Eats small pelagic crustaceans. Bears one young.

Human Impact

Caught in the Natal shark nets.

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