Japanese Devilray, Mobula mobular (Bonnaterre 1788)

Other Names: Devilray, Giant Devil Ray, Spinetail Devilray, Spinetail Mobula

A Japanese Devilray, Mobula mobular, at Barunguba (Montague Island), southern New South Wales, August 2016. Source: Georgia Poyner / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


A medium to large bluish-black devilray with two white crescent-shaped patches on the shoulders in juveniles and newborns (fading in adults), a white underside often with dark patches, a white tip on the dorsal fin, and the inside of the mouth dark. The cephalic lobes are short with black tips, a silvery-grey inner surface, and a white outer surface and side behind the eye.

In Australia, this species was previously known as Mobula japanica, a junior synonym (White et al. 2017).

More images at www.arkive.org

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Mobula mobular in Fishes of Australia, accessed 31 Mar 2020,

Japanese Devilray, Mobula mobular (Bonnaterre 1788)

More Info


Recorded in Australian waters from off Albany, Western Australia, and from off Fraser Island, Queensland, to off Gabo Island, Victoria.

Elsewhere, Mobula mobular is circumglobal in warm temperate and tropical waters - known from many localities in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, in depths to 50 m.


Disc broad, head very short; rostral margin not deeply concave; anterior profile of disc wings straight or slightly convex; tail long and wiry, about equal to or longer than disc width (if undamaged), with a stinging spine in most individuals.


Male disc width to 310 cm; female disc width to 240 cm; disc width at birth about 85 cm; adult weight about 115 kg.


Feeds on plankton, krill and euphasids, plus copepods, small fishes and crustacean larvae.


Commonly taken in pelagic gillnet fisheries, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines. The gill rakers are highly valued in the Traditional Chines Medicine industry, and the meat, cartilage and skin is also sold.

Species Citation

Raia mobular Bonnaterre 1788, Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique des trois règnes de la nature... Ichthyologie: 5. Type locality: Montredon, near Marseille, France, western Mediterranean Sea.


Bray, D.J. 2017

Japanese Devilray, Mobula mobular (Bonnaterre 1788)


Boeseman, M. 1947. Revision of the fishes collected by Burger and van Siebold in Japan. Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden) 28: 1-242 pls 1-5

Compagno, L.J.V. & Last, P.R. 1999. Mobulidae. In: K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. p. 1524-1529.

Cox, G. & M. Francis, 1997. Sharks and rays of New Zealand. Canterbury Univ. Press, Univ. of Canterbury. 68 p.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp.

Michael, S.W. 2005. Reef Sharks and Rays of the World: A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour, and Ecology. ProStar Publications, Maryland.

Müller, J. & Henle, F.G.J. 1841. Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen. Berlin : Veit & Co. pp. 103-200 pls.

Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G. 1987. A revisionary study of the genus Mobula Rafinesque, 1810 (Chondrichthyes: Mobulidae) with the description of a new species. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 91(1): 1-91.

Paulin, C.D., Habib, G., Carey, C.L., Swanson, P.M. and Vos, G.J. 1982 New records of Mobula japanica and Masturus lanceolatus, and further records of Luvaris imperialis (Pisces: Mobulidae, Louvaridae) from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 16: 11-17.

White, W.T., Clark, T.B., Smith, W.D. & Bizzarro, J.J. 2006. Mobula japanica. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 April 2012.

White, W.T., P.R. Last, J.D. Stevens, G.K. Yearsley, Fahmi & Dharmadi. 2006. Economically important sharks and rays of Indonesia. [Hiu dan pari yang bernilai ekonomis penting di Indonesia]. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia. [283]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37041002

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Danger:Venomous spine on tail

Depth:0-50 m


Max Size:Disc width 310 cm

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map