Fab Photo Friday: Reef Mantas in Komodo National Park

It is Fab Photo Friday! On Day 4, the Ray of Hope Expedition caught up with Mantas! ROHE’s main goal is always to identify as many manta rays as possible, and records were broken on this trip! Takat Makkasar is a known Manta hangout, so day 4 was mostly spent on this reef. When we were not diving it, we snorkeled it. There were Reef Mantas everywhere. As a matter of interest, only Reef Mantas, or Manta Alfredi, live in Komodo. These mantas are a little smaller than the Giant Manta, or Manta Biostris, and instead of traveling the oceans, Reef Mantas tend to stay within a certain “home” area. Reef Mantas can grow to be 12 feet in wing span, while the Giants can be over 20 feet in wing span. This was my very first time to see Reef Mantas, and I love them every bit as much as the Giants I have seen all over the world.

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

ID shot of a beauty!

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Reef Manta, aka Manta Alfredi

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

A Manta Train. They could be on a breeding mission as a female will lead males all over the reef for 24 hours before she chooses a mate.

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Here they come again!

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

We witnessed several episodes of these trains.

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Mantas

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Taken on the surface

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

From the surface!

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

I’m taking photos while snorkeling!

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Green Turtle

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Look at this Green Turtle on this reef! The entire reef is alive with corals and anemones! I have never seen reefs more saturated with life!

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Coming up from dives was breathtaking…in a good way!

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

We named this one Hermaphrodite (rhymes with Aphrodite) because of the rather interesting marking on this manta! Photo by Andrea Marshall.

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Gorgeous ID shot by Andrea Marshall

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Cleaning Station for Mantas by Andrea Marshall

It is so interesting to watch mantas being cleaned. Many pelagics require cleaning (as do many fish) in order to clean wounds, and remove parasites. Butterfly fish are avid cleaners, and in some areas, Angel Fish join in. The butterflies nibble parasites, wounds, and other detritus from the ray.

The number of Manta IDs was incredible! Komodo National Park yielded 80 individual identifications on one day, a record breaker! Andrea was thrilled with the productivity of the trip…and we had a wonderful time along the way. What could be better than citizen science and fun?

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

80 IDs in one day! A record! Andrea Marshall.

 

Ray of Hope, Manta Rays, Komodo, Arenui

Get ‘Travels with Tam’ Updates

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Elnora Cameron says:

    80 mantas! What a contrast to last year’s poor little 4 mantas off Cancun. I can’t even imagine what it was like to see 80!

  2. barbara free says:

    I bet you were in heaven, seeing all those beautiful Mantas. What an absolute thrill that would be. They are so beautiful and graceful. Thank you for sharing and helping out with Citizen Science. I hope to do that someday!
    Barb

  3. melbtravel says:

    Oh wow, Mantas are such beautiful and big. This is definitely going on my bucket list. http://www.melbtravel.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge