Mobula japanica

(MÜLLER & HENLE, 1841)

Spinetail mobula
Classification: Elasmobranchii Myliobatiformes Mobulidae

Reference of the original description
MÜLLER, J. & HENLE, F.G.J. (1841)
Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen. Berlin, Veit, pp. 1–200

Image of the original description
No image in first description.

Mobula japanica
Lectotype: RMNH: D2440 Paralectotype: RMNH: lost

Description :

Citation: Mobula japanica (MÜLLER & HENLE, 1841): In: Database of modern sharks, rays and chimaeras,, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 10/2020

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Common names
deu \(T\) Japanischer Rochen, spa Manta arpón, spa Manta de aguijón, spa Manta de espina, fra \(T\) Mante aiguillat, eng Devilray, eng Japanese devil ray, eng Japanese devilray, eng Manta, eng Manta ray, eng Spinetail devil ray, eng Spinetail mobula

Short Description
Dark blue to black above, white below. Inner surface of cephalic fins silver grey with black tip, outer surface and side behind eye white [20053]. Shared characters between M. rancureli and Mobula japanica: teeth, placoid scales, and branchial filter morphologies, morphometrics, presence of tail spine, distinctive shape and coloration of dorsal fin, and general shape of body and coloration (Ref. 50641).

Indo-Pacific: off South Africa, the Arabian Sea eastward to the Hawaiian Islands and Polynesia. Eastern Pacific: on the continental coast. Western Atlantic: Côte d"quot;Ivoire but may probably be more wide-ranging. This has to be critically compared with Mobula mobular of the Mediterranean Sea and nominally elsewhere in the North Atlantic. Source:

Human uses
fisheries: commercial

Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures [733]. With one in a litter [1658]. Size at birth 85-92 cm WD [1658] [2539]. Found inshore, possibly in oceanic waters. Occurs singly or in groups. Feeds mainly on euphausids (mainly Nictiphanes simplex), and to a lesser extent on copepods and crustacean larvae. May also feed on small fishes.

Size / Weight / Age
310 cm WD (male/unsexed; (Ref. 50641)); 240 cm WD (female)

reef-associated; marine

Parasites (arranged by Jürgen Pollerspöck)
  • Syncoelium vermilionense CURRAN & OVERSTREET, 2000 [23771]

  • Entepherus laminipes BERE, 1936 [15950]
  • Eudactylina oliveri LAUBIER, 1968 [17867]
  • Kroeyerina mobulae DEETS, 1987 [15948]

  • Gnathia grandilaris COETZEE, SMIT, GRUTTER & DAVIES, 2008 [22155]
  • Gnathia trimaculata COETZEE, SMIT, GRUTTER & DAVIES, 2009 [17188] [22155]