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Black-and-White Manta, Bill Rebsamen's painting

Artist's description of creature.

Beebe's Manta is an unknown species of Fish in the South Pacific Ocean. Scientific name is Manta sp. nov., assigned by Gunter Sehm in 1996. Diamond-shaped body configuration. Dark-brown back, faintly mottled. Two broad, brilliantly white, distinctly Vshaped bands extend halfway down the back from each side of the head. Wingspan, 10 feet, approximately 1.5 times the body length. Wing tips are white, at least on the underside. Conspicuous horns. Short tail. Reported from Galápagos Islands; New Caledonia; Tabuaeran Atoll, Kiribati; off Baja California, Mexico; Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.

Significant sightings Edit

Naturalist William Beebe observed a white-banded manta ray off Isla Genovesa in the Galápagos Islands on April 27, 1923. The fish collided with his vessel, Noma, then sped away on the surface. A documentary for German television, called Sharks: Hunters of the Seas and broadcast on December 28, 1989, featured a thirty-second clip of a manta with white, symmetrical, V-shaped bands.A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television program titled Holiday Guide to Australia, broadcast on November 7, 1999, included an aerial view of a swimming manta ray with a pair of white, longitudinal bands on its wings, filmed over the Great Barrier Reef.Possible explanation: The pigmentation of the uniformly dark Giant manta (Manta birostris) is easily rubbed off, but this only results in blotching. Sometimes, the animal is seen with white shoulder patches but not distinct banding. It has a wingspan up to 26 feet and is found in circumtropical waters.

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