top of page

Early Life

There are still many gaps in our knowledge of the early lives of manta rays. Scientists believe manta ray pups live in near-shore environments where they are likely more protected from predators and have a more reliable food supply than their adult counterparts. We do not know how long they stay in their nursery environment or where their nursery is located for Kona manta rays.

New born mantas are not dependent on a parent, and are self sufficient from birth. They are born with their wings folded, but their wingspan reaches about 3 feet across as they unfold after birth.

Pregnant manta

Adult Life

We don't know for certain the lifespan of a manta, but some individuals have been seen regularly off the Kona coast for decades. Many people estimate they can live for 40 years or more. The reef manta seen most commonly in Kona, Mobula alfredi, can reach up to 11 feet in length. They are seen most often in fall-spring, with less occurrences in summer. They only consume plankton, and eat 12% of their body weight per week. Adult mantas weigh between 1,000-2,000 pounds.

Adult mantas are highly sociable and can often be seen interacting with other mantas. Studies suggest Kona mantas do not travel across the open water to other islands in Hawaii, meaning Kona hosts a closed population of mantas, explaining why we have gotten to know our resident mantas over the years!   

Female mantas reach sexual maturity at 10-12 years old and typically have one pup every two or three years.

Mantas are oviviparous, meaning they produce live young from an egg that is hatched inside the mother. Their gestation period is about 1 year and have one pup every 2-3 years.

Male mantas reach sexual maturity around 6-9 years old. They court females by following them in a "train". This behavior can commonly be seen when diving off the Kona coast.
bottom of page