Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243). Subtropical; 53°N - 13°N
Probably circumglobal in warm seas.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 520 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 4442); max. published weight: 1.5 t (Ref. 115943)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Larger than M. hypostoma, tail with spine and prickles (Ref. 6902).
An epipelagic species (Ref. 6808) found over continental shelves and near oceanic islands (Ref. 6679). Feeds on small pelagic fishes and crustaceans (Ref. 6679), by funnelling using their cephalic fins and then trapping or filtering the food through their specialised gill plates (Ref. 115943). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Bycatch mortalities have been reported from Mediterranean fisheries - large-scale driftnets, purse seines and trawls, bottom set nets, trammel nets, longlines and even fixed traps for tuna. It is utilized for its meat as protein source (except the head) and gill plates as ingredient in Chinese medicine (Ref. 115943)
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Exhibit ovoviparity (aplacental viviparity), with embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures (Ref. 6679, 50449).
McEachran, J.D. and B. Séret, 1990. Mobulidae. p. 73-76. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. (Ref. 4442)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 13.1 - 23, mean 15.8 °C (based on 226 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.53 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Fec assumed to be <100).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (90 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 9.17 [0.97, 58.85] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.05 [0.19, 3.88] mg/100g ; Protein = 21.2 [18.6, 23.8] % ; Omega3 = 0.213 [0.074, 0.596] g/100g ; Selenium = 30 [8, 113] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 3.74 [0.77, 20.03] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.376 [0.097, 1.346] mg/100g (wet weight);