Oceanic Mantas spread New Year joy for scooter divers at Kuredu

08 Jan 2018

With New Year celebrations on Kuredu to look forward to, divers took to the water with scooters for thrilling adventures around the atoll. They had no idea they would be celebrating earlier than planned – not for the start of 2018, but for the amazing sightings they had of Oceanic Mantas!

Fushivaru Kandu, 28th December 2017
Ludwig and his guests enjoyed the company of two Oceanic Mantas (one male and one female) for 15 minutes while on their scooter dive during a 2-tank trip.

Zafari Corner, 30th December 2017
Another lucky 2-tank trip with scooters and this time it was Charl and his group who spotted a female Oceanic Manta that they were able to observe for about 5 miniutes before she glided out to the depths.

Using the footage captured on the dives, Manta Trust have been able to identify and log two of them, all three are believed to be new to their database. A big thank you to Laurie Miller for sharing the great movie of the sighting with us.

Oceanic Mantas Facts

  • Unlike the reef manta ray, on an oceanic manta the ventral surface is almost absent of spots except for a small central cluster which is usually present near the tail on the manta’s belly
  • Also dissimilar to reef manta rays, oceanic manta rays usually also have dark colouration around and inside the mouth and around their gill slits
  • The oceanic manta ray is the largest species of ray in the world!
  • Oceanic manta rays have been observed jumping clear of the water and landing with a loud splash, possibly as a form of communication or even play
  • The oceanic manta ray is believed to mature at a disc width of about 4 to 4.5 metres in males and 5 to 5.5 metres in females
  • This species is capable of reaching rapid speeds and great depths, down to 1,000 metres!

Oceanic Mantas in the Maldives

  • Total number recorded in the Maldives: 244
  • Population demographics: 44% male; 46% female; 10% unknown
  • Majority of sightings recorded in Fuvamulah
  • First reported sighting of an Oceanic Manta in Lhaviyani Atoll was in November 2016 at Kuredu Express

Guy Stevens from Manta Trust has kindly provided clear images of Oceanic Mantas – take a look and compare with the images of reef mantas that are more commonly seen.