The Shortfin Devil Ray (Mobula kuhlii) is reported from the Western Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea to Western Australia and north to Vietnam. Mobula are slow-growing, large-bodied migratory, planktivorous animals with small, highly fragmented populations that are sparsely distributed across the tropical and temperate oceans of the world. Their biological and behavioural characteristics (low reproductive rates, late maturity and aggregating behaviour) make these species particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation in fisheries and extremely slow to recover from depletion.
Shortfin Devil Rays are fairly uncommon, as such they are classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN Red List. They primarily are found in continental coastal areas and around oceanic islands. They feed on planktonic organisms and small fish.
Mobula rays are caught in commercial and artisanal fisheries throughout their global warm water range in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Directed fisheries primarily utilize harpoons and nets, while significant bycatch occurs in purse seine, gill and trawl net fisheries targeting other species, including on the high seas. A recent surge in demand for mobula ray products (gill plates) in China and reports of increased direct fishing effort in key range states suggests an urgent and escalating threat to these species.
As large species which feed low in the food chain, Mobula can be viewed as indicator species for the overall health of the ecosystem. Studies have suggested that removing large, filter-feeding organisms from marine environments can result in significant, cascading species composition changes.
|CMS Instruments||CMS, Sharks (2016)|
|IUCN Status||Data Deficient|
|Date of entry in Appendix I||2014|
|Date of entry in Appendix II||2014|
|Countries||India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Philippines, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania|
|English||Shortfin Devil Ray, Lesser Devil Ray|
|Scientific name||Mobula kuhlii|
|Author||(Müller & Henle, 1841)|
|Standard reference||Eschmeyer, W.N. (1990). Catalogue of the Genera of Recent Fishes. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California.|
|Synonyms||Mobula draco (Günther, 1872), Cephaloptera kuhlii (Müller & Henle, 1841) & M. diabolus(Smith, 1943)|