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New records of whale shark (Rhincodon typus), giant manta ray (Manta birostris) and Chilean devil ray (Mobula tarapacana) for Suriname

  • M.N. De Boer (a1) (a2), J.T. Saulino (a2), T.P. Lewis (a3) and G. Notarbartolo-Di-Sciara (a4)

Little is known about elasmobranchs along the northern coast of South America. During five boat surveys in Suriname offshore waters we visually documented the presence and behaviour of the free-ranging whale shark Rhincodon typus and two mobulid rays: the giant manta ray Manta birostris and the Chilean devil ray Mobula tarapacana. Three sightings were made of R. typus at the surface in shallow coastal waters where the water depth measured 46–67 m. One of these sightings was confirmed by photographs. Manta birostris was positively identified on five occasions while at the surface, all in shallow waters of less than 57 m deep. Four additional sightings, not accompanied by photographs, were identified as Manta spp. One devil ray, photographed and identified as Mobula tarapacana, was recorded at the surface in deep waters (2491 m) in July 2012. These records of R. typus, Manta birostris and Mobula tarapacana are the first for Suriname and therefore add to the documented information of these species within the Wider Caribbean Region and contribute to the knowledge of the pelagic distribution of these species.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: M.N. de Boer, Seven Seas Marine Consultancy, Postbus 11422, 1001 GK, Amsterdam, the Netherlands email:
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