Sicklefin Devil Ray, Mobula tarapacana: The Sicklefin Devil Ray has black-brown smooth skin. It is white that turns gray posteriorly on the ventral side.
The Sicklefin Devil Ray has a narrow head that projects beyond the disk, with eyes on the sides and mouths on the underside. It has a pair of short paddle-like fins or “horns” projecting forward from the head.
The wings of the Sicklefin Devil Ray are large and strongly curved backwards giving rise to them being named “sicklefin.”
The Sicklefin Devil Ray reaches a maximum size of just over 10 feet in width and about 750 pounds in weight. The four devil rays found in Mexican waters are all very similar in appearance. However, the Sicklefin Devil Ray has a very short spineless tail that is less than one-half the width of the disk and it has a unique small black dorsal fin that is uniform in color.
The Sicklefin Devil Ray is a coastal pelagic species found in the first 100 feet of the water column around reefs.
In Mexican fishing waters it is found south of Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, south of La Paz on the east coast of Baja, along the coast of the Mexican mainland from Acapulco south to Guatemala, and around all of the Mexican oceanic islands.
The Sicklefin Devil Ray is a member of the Myliobatidae Family which includes the cow-nosed rays, devil rays, eagle rays, manta rays, and mobula rays. Globally there are 12 known species of devil rays of which four are residents of Mexican waters.