Mobula kuhlii (Müller & Henle, 1841)
Mobula kuhlii (Müller & Henle, 1841)

Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Mobula kuhlii

English Name: Shortfin devil ray

Creole Name: Swarko

French Name: Petit diable

IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN)


Dorsal spines: 3; Dorsal rays: 25-27; Anal rays: 24-25.

Greyish to greenish brown dorsally, with small pale spots. Whitish ventrally with yellow spots that can coalesce to form a reticulum particularly posteriorly.  3 large 
oval white spots along the back and a small one dorsally on caudal peduncle; a broad white streak often on side of body posterior to upper end of gill opening. White 
blotches and mid-lateral stripe can disappear with growth.  An oblique groove before the eye; large bony scales behind gill opening. Caudal peduncle depressed, slender 
and tapering. Yellow bands on dorsal and anal fins. Caudal fin, yellow with white bars and stripes pattern and diffuse black margin, double emarginate, lobes longer 
with growth.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 60cm TL

Habitat and Ecology:

Reef associated. Inhabits mud and silt sand bottoms (depth 7-350m), usually 7-100m depth on sand, sponge, and weed bottoms. Feeds on benthic animals, including crabs, 
molluscs and sea urchins. Juveniles in sheltered coastal bays and estuaries.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in both the fish trap and hand line fisheries and is, along with Sufflamen fraenatum, 
the most commonly caught triggerfish in the artisanal fishery.




Abalistes stellaris is a synonym for this species.


Bray, D.J. (2018).  Abalistes stellatus in Fishes of Australia, (30/10/18). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2018). FishBase  (30/10/18)
Matsuura, K. (2015). Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyol Res (2015) 
62:72–113 DOI 10.1007/s10228-014-0444-5  
Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. (2015). Abalistes stellatus. The IUCN Red List 2015: e.T193587A56996805. (18/06/22). .
Matsuura K, Yoshino T (2004). A new triggerfish of the genus Abalistes (Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae) from the western Pacific. Rec Aust Mus 56:189-194
Smith, M & Heemstra, P Eds. (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


Nevill, J.E.G. & Mason-Parker, C. (2019). Abalistes stellatus, Starry triggerfish. Seychelles Seatizens.  (updated 18/06/22).

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Small devil ray with a broad and sub- terminal mouth. Anterior margins of disc straight to slightly convex. Spiracles small, circular and located below pectoral fin origins. 
Base of tail quadrangular in cross-section, and no caudal spine present. Disc broad and short, length 50 to 59% of width. Denticles mostly absent. Tail whiplike and long, 
greater than disc in juveniles, shorter than disc width in adults. Dorsal fin small, apex broadly rounded.

 Colour. Dorsal surface purplish-brown to brown; dorsal fin plain or with a white tip. Ventral surface white except for distal portions of disc which are dusky grey.


Maturity: Born: 31-34cm DW. Maturity: males at approx. 115cm DW, females at approx.134cm DW. Maximum: attains at least 135cm DW.

Habitat and Ecology:

Found in coastal and oceanic waters. Generally found in schools, leaping out of the water. Feeds on planktonic crustaceans and possibly small fishes and cephalopods.

Ovoviviparous, 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. A single, relatively large pup is produced per litter.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations despite being an appendix I species under the Convention on Migratory species to which Seychelles is party. 
It is caught in gill nets. It is a periodic and occasionally numerous component of the catch. 


Bizzarro, J. et al (2009). Mobula kuhlii. The IUCN Red List 2009: e.T161439A5424139. (27/05/19).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2018). FishBase. (27/05/19).
Last, P.R. et al (2016). Rays of the World. CSIRO Publishing ISBN 9781501705328
Rigby, C.L. et al (2020). Mobula kuhlii. The IUCN Red List 2020: e.T161439A124485584. (10/07/20)


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Mobula kuhlii, Shortfin devil ray. Seychelles Seatizens. (Updated 29/09/21).

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