Meet Myfanwy, Fairy & Fikry!

28 May 2010

With the latest set of results having been received from the Maldivian Manta Ray Research Project, we would like to introduce you to a few more of the Mantas we have recently seen here in the Lhaviyani Atoll.

In total, we have now identified 144 Manta Rays around Kuredu and Komandoo. At the end of January we had identified 114.

February and March saw our guests have over 80 Manta Ray encounters!  In addition to the 30 new Mantas identified, we also had re-sightings of over 50 individuals.

With the Manta Ray Specialty Course proving to be extremely popular since we launched it back in January, we have been lucky enough to have had some great snorkel and dive trips with these majestic creatures over the winter months.

Mantas can be identified by the individual spot pattern on their bellies, and we are pleased to report that we have been able to identify 30 new individuals that have been passing through the Atoll.  Interestingly enough, 4 of these Mantas have also previously been seen in the Baa Atoll, helping to identify cross-atoll migrations that might be taking place.

Current Lhaviyani Atoll Manta Ray Population:

144 Manta Rays

42 Mature Females (29%)

30 Mature Males (21%)

70 Juveniles (49%)

2 Unknown (1%)

We would like to introduce you to some of the Mantas that were spotted during February and March:

Meet ‘Myfanwy’

Maldives Manta Rays

Last Seen: 25th March 2010

Sex: Juvenile

Size: 2m

Sightings: 3

Myfanwy was first seen on dive trip led by Yaafis at Madivaru Thila on 10th March.  The second and third sightings came on snorkel trips with Ludwig (21st March), and with Sofia and Darren on the 25th March.

Meet ‘Fairy’

Maldives Manta Rays

Last seen: 25th March 2010

Sex: Female

Size: 3.5m

Sightings: 3

‘Fairy’ was first spotted at Fushivaru Thila in February 2008, and again in August 2009 on the sand bank close to Kuredu. Sofia’s full day snorkel boat spotted her again on 25th March at Dhanifaru.

Meet ‘Fikry’

Kuredu Manta Rays Maldives

Last seen: 27th March 2010

Sex: Juvenile Male

Size: 2m

Sightings: 6

Fikry is a firm favorite amongst our guides and guests alike, and is one of the most regularly sighted Mantas in the Lhaviyani Atoll.  Named after one of our Guest Relations team, Fikry was little more than 1m in size when we first saw him in February 2009, and over the course of the past 12 months and subsequent 5 sightings, we have seen him double in size.

We would like to thank all of you that submitted images from your snorkel or dive trips over the past couple of months.  Keep watching this space for the next update, and to get to know some more of the Mantas that visit the Lhaviyani Atoll.