Male can be differentiated from female by the prominence of their reproductive organs, two claspers extending from the pelvic fins.
Manta rays are oviviparous, the embryo is wrapped in a thin shell connected by blood vessel to the mother’s tissues. The shell hatches inside the mother.
Female give birth to a single live young (sometimes 2) after at least 1 year of gestation.
The young will be between 1 and 1.5 m wide.
When mating, the male grabs the left pectoral fin of the female until the end of the copulation.
Mating behaviour has rarely been observed in the wild, mating scars (on left pectoral fin for females and claspers for males) are the main evidence that a manta has been mating recently.
Note: Manta rays do not give birth in midair, this long believed tale comes from a fisherman who harpooned a female manta which spontaneously abort while jumping out of the water due to high level of stress.
No data currently exist on the age at maturity and growth rate of these giants.