Dark brown to black above, white below. Pectoral fins (“wings”) long and pointed. Two large cephalic fins (rostra) protruding from front of head. Mouth wide, terminal. Tail whip-like, but shorter than the length of body and with no spine. On an oceanic manta the ventral surface is almost absent of spots except for a small central cluster which is usually present near the tail on the manta’s belly. Oceanic manta rays usually also have dark colouration around and inside their mouth’s and around their gill slits. On reef mantas (M. alfredi), unique spot patterning can be found all over the ventral surface.