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First record of Mobula japanica on the west coast of Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 July 2014

Kim Smith
Affiliation:
WA Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratories, PO Box 20, North Beach, WA 6920, Australia
Alan Pearce
Affiliation:
WA Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratories, PO Box 20, North Beach, WA 6920, Australia Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Bentley, WA 6845, Australia
Chris Dowling
Affiliation:
WA Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratories, PO Box 20, North Beach, WA 6920, Australia
Seema Fotedar
Affiliation:
WA Fisheries and Marine Research Laboratories, PO Box 20, North Beach, WA 6920, Australia
Corresponding
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Abstract

A spinetail devilray (Mobula japanica) was recorded for the first time in the western waters of Australia. The beach-stranded individual was observed in March 2013 on the southern coast of Western Australia (latitude 34.8811°S, longitude 118.4079°E). This is the southernmost record of this species in Australian waters. Previous Australian records of this species have been restricted to the east coast, where sightings have been within the latitudinal range of 14–33°S. The individual observed in Western Australia was a mature male, with a disc width of 257 cm. The occurrence coincided with the maximum recorded summer sea surface temperature (22.0°C) along the southern coast of Western Australia and an abnormally strong flow in the Leeuwin Current for that time of year.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2014 

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