devil ray

Devil fish

https://www.blue-world.org/conservation/species/devil-ray/

The devil fish is a small, venomous marine fish native to the Indo-Pacific region. There are three species of devil fish: the blue devilfish (Mobula japanica), the red devilfish (Mobula rosenbergii) and the green devilfish (Mobula tarapacana). They are typically found in coral reefs and wrecks along coasts around Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Guam, Micronesia, Palau, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and possibly some islands off Western Africa.

Aquarium hobbyists keep devil fishes as pets because of their striking colors and unique feeding habits. These fish feed primarily on crustaceans such as crabs, shrimps, prawns, and barnacles, though they will occasionally eat smaller fish. When approached, they often swim away quickly, but will return once they feel safe.

Blue devils are generally considered less aggressive than red and green devils. Red devils are larger than blue devils and more active. Green devils are usually much smaller than both types of devil fish.

The devil fish’s scientific classification is based on its appearance. Blue devils belong to the family Mobulidae, while red and green devils belong to the family Pomacentridae.

Blue devils are sometimes called “devils”, “blue sharks”, “sharks”, “sea cats”, “cat sharks”, “jellyfish”, “penguin shark”, “blueshark”, “smooth dogtooth tuna”, “bluestar”, “bleuet”, “blue whale”, “whale shark”, “white shark”, “sea cat”, “sea lion”, “lionfish”, “crowned porcupine”, “porcupine fish”, “spiny eel”, “stingray”, “stinger ray”, “flamingo”, “gibbon”, “dwarf stingray”, “wobbegong”, “tiger shark”, “blacktip reef shark”, “sand tiger”, “golden trevally”, “snapper”, “garfish”, “blowfish”, “puffball”, “sea slug”, “sea hare”, “sea cucumber”, “sea pig”, “sea cucumber”.

Red devils are sometimes referred to as “red snappers”, “red sea cat”, “redtail”, “sea cat”, and “sea lion”.

Green devils are sometimes referred to simply as “devils”.

Description

The devilfish is a large, deepwater marine fish belonging to the family Mobulidae. It is found throughout tropical waters worldwide, most commonly around coral reefs. Devilfish are among the few bony fishes known to use venom. They possess a spine near the base of each dorsal fin which acts like a harpoon; the spine is used to subdue prey.

The devilfish is the third largest species of mobula. Its maximum size is about 11 feet long and 2.3 pounds. The body is elongated, with a blunt snout, small eyes, and no barbels. The skin is covered with small scales, except along the midline, where there are rows of longer, sharp scales. A dark band runs down the center of the belly. There are five pairs of gill slits. The pectoral fins are short and rounded. The pelvic fins are very small and located far behind the anal fin. The caudal fin is broad and deeply forked. The coloration varies considerably, depending upon age and sex. Juvenile devilfish are olive green dorsally, while adults tend towards brownish hues. The underside is white or pale yellow. Some individuals show black spots on the sides.

Devilfish feed primarily on crustaceans, including crabs, shrimp, and lobsters. They also eat mollusks such as clams and mussels. They are often seen hunting in schools. When threatened, devilfish swim away rapidly, sometimes leaping out of the water. This behavior is similar to that of stingrays.

Distribution and habitat

The devilfish is distributed across the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific region. Its range extends from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden to South Africa, east along the coasts of India and Sri Lanka, north into the Pacific Ocean, west into Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Reunion Island, Mauritius, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint Helena, Ascension Island, and Brazil. It is absent from the Indian subcontinent and Antarctica.

Devilfish are often caught by commercial fishers around the world. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists it as “vulnerable”, due to the high level of fishing activity, although no population trend data exists.

Ecology

The devil ray is one of the largest members of the stingray family, genus Dasyatis, and lives in tropical waters around the world. It is found in coastal areas, estuaries, rivers, lakes, and even saltwater. They are often seen swimming near coral reefs.

Devil rays grow up to 2 meters long, although most individuals reach about half that size. Their bodies are flattened dorsoventrally, giving it the appearance of being bent backwards. The dorsal surface is covered in rows of sharp, backward pointing teeth. These are used to crush hard-shelled prey such as crabs, mollusks, and bivalves. Its tail fin is broad and flat, with a large spine at the tip. The body coloration varies greatly among different populations; some are dark brown or black while others are light gray.

Devils are usually solitary animals, except during breeding season. Females give birth every 3–5 years, and produce a litter of 1–3 pups. Newborn devils measure approximately 10 cm long. After hatching, the young develop rapidly, growing into adults within a few months.

Like many sharks, devil rays have been known to attack humans. However, attacks are extremely rare and they are generally harmless to people. In fact, there is no evidence that devil rays pose a threat to human health.

what are mobulid rays?

Manta and devil rays, know collectively as Mobulidae, are some of the worlds most beautiful, fascinating and mysterious creatures. They are one of the closest living relatives of sharks and rays, and are found worldwide in warm seas across the tropics and subtropics. As filter feeders, they spend much of their lives swimming slowly through the sea, eating microscopic organisms suspended in the water.

In addition to being stunningly beautiful, manta rays are important to many cultures around the globe; many people believe mantas hold special spiritual significance. In fact, they are thought to be sacred animals in several places including Japan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Cuba and Brazil.

The Gentle Giants of the Sea

Mantas are one of the most intelligent animals on Earth, and it turns out they are also among the gentlest. These large oceanic rays are some of the biggest predators in the sea – with the largest specimens measuring over 7m across and weighing up to 2 tonnes – but despite their size and power, they are gentle creatures, rarely attacking humans unless provoked. This makes them popular within the diving community, where their gentle nature and curious behaviour make them great subjects for underwater photography. But while the public might know about their gentle ways, very few people realise how smart they really are.

Identifying the Manta Species

In 2009, scientists established that they are at least two different species of manta ray. They named one Mobula birostris and the other Mobula alfredi.

There are several morphological and behavioral differences that separate the species apart. These include their body size, their coloration, and their habitat usage.

The most obvious differences relate to how big they are, what colours they are, and where they live. Here we take a closer look at the three key features that help us identify each species.

Davil ray Size

Mantas grow up to 20 metres long and weigh over 2 tonnes. Their bodies are covered in skin folds called dermal denticles. This helps them to move around without making much noise.

They swim slowly, often stopping to feed. When feeding, mantas open their mouths wide, filter plankton out of the water column, and swallow it whole.

what are devil rays?

What do you know about devil rays? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know much. But you might want to learn more because scientists think there could be a connection between devil rays and climate change.

Devil rays are actually a group of fish called batoids. They look similar to stingrays, but they lack a tail fin. Instead, they have a dorsal fin with a row of sharp spines along it. They live in tropical waters around the world, including the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.

In recent decades, some researchers have noticed that populations of devil rays in the Atlantic Ocean seem to be declining. This decline is likely due to rising ocean temperatures, which cause coral reefs to die off. When corals die, sea life needs another habitat to survive. In turn, this leads to fewer places for devil rays to live.

This is just one example of how environmental changes caused by global warming affect marine animals. Scientists predict that many species will face extinction over the next few decades. So understanding what causes those extinctions is important.

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