Manta birostris

Common Name

Manta Ray

Year Described

Walbaum, 1792

Other Notes

The manta rays have been shown to consist of at least two species: the worldwide Manta birostris and the Indo-Pacific and eastern Atlantic M. alfredi. There is evidence that an undescribed manta similar to M. alfredi occurs in the Caribbean Sea but this problem has not been resolved.

Phylogenetic work has strongly supported the paraphyly of the genus Mobula with the genus Manta nested in a clade with Mo. japanica and Mo. tarapacana. Since Mobula japanica is the type for the genus, all manta rays should be placed into the genus Mobula to restore monophyly. Due to the widespread usage of Manta as a genus and common name, I will keep Manta birostris in Manta for the time being.