Manta rays are no more....

21 July 2017
Mobula alfredi

 

About the Subject: 

Everybody knows this fish as the famous Manta ray. Yet, as of July 2017 the scientific name is changed into Mobula alfredi. Depsite the physical differences between mobula and manta rays, the latter have more in common with mobulas as previously thought. These findings are based on DNA analyses done by a team of researchers, whose article appeared in the Zoological Journal in June 2017. Thus the rays previously known as Manta birostris (Oceanic manta ray) and Manta alfredi (Reef manta ray) are now called Mobula birostris and Mobula alfredi (see picture) respectively. There are quite a few differences between M. birostris and M. alfredi, but the most pronounced feature that determines the animal in the picture as M. alfredi is the predominantly white underside and mouth. Those of you who want to learn more should visit following page: http://www.mantamatcher.org/overview.jsp

About the Picture:

There were big waves and a lot of particles in the water when we encountered a number of (back then still called) manta rays feeding close to the surface and close to the rocky shore. Visibility was low so I used my strobes despite the obvious risk of backscatter. It is an understatement to say that the circumstances to take pictures then and there were not great. In the original image the sandy bottom is overexposed and the water is more bluish-green. To improve the photo I corrected the highlights, turned the greenish water into a more appealing blue and added rays of light to complete the hazy atmosphere of the image.

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