Hawaii Spotted Eagle & Manta Rays
Eagle rays are large, active, free-swimming rays which are found in most tropical waters. Eagle rays seem to love cruising along the walls and drop-offs in Hawaii, travelling singly, in pairs, or even in large groups.
Hawaii Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Rays are both graceful and powerful as they travel up and down through the water column. They can rise from the depths below two hundred feet right up to sixty feet along the wall edge and go right back down in just a few seconds. But mostly, they seem to love to just glide along the top of the wall in a seemingly endless reverie.
With its eerie shape and flapping dorsal fins, the eagle ray is among the most elegant and mysterious-looking fish in the ocean. Its back is covered with a symmetrical dot pattern ranging in color from white and yellow to green. Its underbelly is white and its long tail, sometimes measuring twice as long as its body, is black. When an eagle ray is resting on the sandy ocean floor, its highly-patterned back acts as a camouflage, hiding it from both prey and attackers. The eagle ray, like all rays and sharks, has a skeleton of cartilage. Its large "wings" are tapered like a bird's and can measure up to seven and a half feet across. The eagle ray's shovel-shaped snout and its duckbilled mouth are extremely sensitive to smells and electrical currents in the water. This makes the eagle ray an effective hunter. Feeding on mollusks, crustaceans and small fish, this beautiful ray can reach weights of up to 500 pounds. The eagle ray lives mostly among rocky and muddy coral reefs and feeds along the sandy ocean bottom.