The mobular rays, the manta rays and devilfishes are a small family of rays consisting mostly of large species living in the open ocean rather than on the sea bottom. There are 11 species in this family, of which we can sometimes see 1 particular member while diving from Koh Lanta.
Mobular rays, manta rays and devilfishes are large pelagic filter feeding rays with a large wide disc and 5 gill slits on the underside. They have large pectoral fins and whip-like tails with a small dorsal fin. The pectoral fins extend forward forming 'horns' in front of the head called cephalic fins. These fins can be uncurled to scoop food into the wide mouth. The cephalic fins look like devil horns, and the rays in this family are sometimes called devil rays.
The Mobulidae currently comprises two genera, Manta and Mobula. The genus Manta encompasses two species (Reef Manta & Giant Oceanic Manta) and there are nine currently recognized species in the genus Mobula.