Atlantic Devilray

Mobula hypostoma

Atlantic Devilray 2018-02-18T02:15:58+00:00
CLASS Elasmobranchii
ORDER Myliobatiformes
SUBORDER Odontoceti
FAMILY Myliobatidae
GENUS Mobula
SPECIES Hypostoma
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IDENTIFICATION

Dark black above, white below. Pectoral fins (“wings”) long and pointed. Two large cephalic fins (rostra) protruding from front of head. Mouth small, sub-terminal. Tail whip-like, as long as the length of body and with no spine.

SIZE AND AGE

Relatively small species, they have a total length, including tail, of about 8 feet (2.4 m), and a wingspan of 4 feet (1.2 m) or more.

HABITAT

Found along the coasts of the western Atlantic from North Carolina to northern Argentina. Occurs in shallow coastal waters and some bays, as well as open ocean waters.

FEEDING

Feeds mainly on planktonic crustaceans but may consume small schooling fishes.

REPRODUCTION

Aplacental viviparity (fertilized stingray eggs remain in the mother’s uterus, ingesting their yolk sacs. Once the embryos have fully consumed their yolk sacs, the embryos are nourished by ‘uterine milk’, secreted by the mother. Gestation is estimated to last approximately one year. No details on hoew many pus per litter.

HUMAN FACTORS

Protected in Florida state waters. Found singly, in small groups, and in schools. Swimming at high speed and often leap high above the surface. Of little danger to humans.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The information contained in this document was gathered from various sources, including Florida Ray Identification Guide.