Manta ray, Manta alfredi, former birostris at a cleaning station in Raja Ampat - south Misool

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Manta ray, Manta alfredi, former birostris at a cleaning station in Raja Ampat - south Misool. <br />
Previously, the genus Manta was considered monotypic by most authors. The genus was recently re-evaluated and split into two species, the Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi) and the Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris). Genetic evidence further confirms the existence of two separate species. Both species have worldwide distributions. Manta species are sympatric in some locations and allopatric in other regions.<br />
Reports are often mixed as the splitting of the genus occurred very recently (2009). Historical reports can often be confusing as well without adequate descriptions or photographs. Care should be taken when using reports or accounts of the Giant Manta Ray that they are not referring to the Reef Manta Ray (or vice versa).<br />
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Melanistic (black) and leucistic (white) colour morphs occur in both species of Manta. Variant colour morphs often contributed an added degree of confusion when attempting to discriminate between species of Manta in the field or in photographs, especially when close examination was not possible. It should be noted that these colour morphs could be a possible source of error, resulting in mis-identifications in future studies or surveys of distribution.<br />
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At this dive site in Raja Ampat / south Misool sometimes divers can observe both species together.
Manta ray, Manta alfredi, former birostris at a cleaning station in Raja Ampat - south Misool.
Previously, the genus Manta was considered monotypic by most authors. The genus was recently re-evaluated and split into two species, the Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi) and the Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris). Genetic evidence further confirms the existence of two separate species. Both species have worldwide distributions. Manta species are sympatric in some locations and allopatric in...
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