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The is the Black version, Melanistic version of Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi. They are considered a rarity, aside from another rarer version, the White Manta, Leucistic mantas, which are white or almost all white in colour including their back. This individual was rather huge, easily 4 meters, possibly up to 4.5 meters wing span.
The reef manta ray is found widely in the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific, but with a few records from the tropical East Atlantic and none from the West Atlantic or East Pacific. Compared to the giant oceanic manta ray, the reef manta ray tends to be found in shallower, more coastal habitats, but local migrations are sometimes reported. Manta birostris is similar in appearance to Manta alfredi and the two species may be confused as their distribution overlaps. However there are distinguishing features.
Manta Rays can be identified individually by the spots on their belly. No 2 Manta Rays will have the same spot patterns, making that their 'fingerprint'. Manta Rays are filter feeders, meaning they swim with their mouth wide open and using their lobes to channel water rich with planktons into their mouth and it passes through their gills. There are plates along the gills that trap the food inside of the mouth so that only the water passes back out. Despite their size, Manta Rays are harmless to human. They no longer has the stinging spine on their tail, unlike the smaller species of Sting Rays, which can be venomous.