First record of the reef manta ray, Mobula alfredi, from the eastern Pacific

Randall Arauz, Elpis J. Chávez, E. Mauricio Hoyos-Padilla and Andrea D. Marshall

 

Marine Biodiversity Records, 2019, 12:3.

 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s41200-019-0162-9

 

Abstract

 

An opportunistic sighting of a reef manta ray (Mobula alfredi) along the northeastern corner of Cocos Island, Costa Rica, represents the first sighting of this species nearly 6000 km from the nearest confirmed sighting location in the Marquesas Islands and the first record of this species on either side of the American continent. Cocos Island is situated approximately 500 km away from mainland Costa Rica as well as any other suitable habitat for this species, suggesting the sighted individual may have migrated to this location. The individual was fitted with an acoustic transmitter (V16 Vemco Ltd., Nova Scotia, Canada) which will enable monitoring of its habitat use around the island and potential long-term residency patterns.

 

Keywords

 

Manta ray, range extension, Costa Rica, photo identification, migration.

 

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