A spate of recent devil ray sightings gives divers even more reason to wake up for our sunrise dive at Monad Shoal! Individual rays have been noted on many shark dives recently including pods of 6 to 8 on a couple of occasions.
As with the thresher sharks, the rays are also attracted to the shoal’s cleaning stations with Monad clearly offering a top spa treatment. Some lucky divers have spent up to twenty minutes in close proximity to cleaning devil rays who receive the same dedicated treatment from cleaning fish as the sharks. Unlike divers, who must hover and often fin into a current, the rays are not remotely fazed and barely move their wings while at a standstill in current. The rays have other things in common with the sharks as well. Both belong to the chondrythicyes class (literally Greek for cartilaginous fish) and make up the subclass elasmobranchs.
Other devil rays have been sighted during recent decompression stops at 6 metres and also breaching out of the water. Breaching behaviour is commonly reported from the mobula rays, however, we are unsure exactly why they choose to fling themselves out of the water, often somersaulting in the process. Theories include to assert dominance or for mating as larger wingspans result in a larger landing sound, to loosen parasites or simply for the fun and enjoyment of it.
It can be very hard to distinguish between different devil ray species, indeed some are still in dispute by scientists. The black band on near the head, white tip on the dorsal fin and smooth tail all point to this and most other sightings here being the bentfin devil ray.
So what are you waiting for? Ray-se yourself out of bed and wing your way to Malapascua as if the devil were at your heels! If you’re lucky the sharks might not be your only ray-son to return.