News

Divers spot pink manta ray at Lady Elliot

Pink manta ray spotted at Lady Elliot Island.
Pink manta ray spotted at Lady Elliot Island. Ryan Jeffery

ON FRIDAY, October 20, a group of divers on Lady Elliot Island spotted a manta ray at the Lighthouse Bommie, a popular dive sight for Manta Ray encounters, with a very unusual shading on its underbelly.

Manta rays are typically grey to black on their dorsal (upper) side and white on their ventral (underside), however, the underbelly of this particular individual looked to be a very distinct shade of pink.

Dive Instructor Ryan Jeffery was quick to grab his camera and captured these fantastic shots of the manta ray where you can clearly see the pink belly.

After speaking with Kathy Townsend, lead scientist for Project Manta, she acknowledged that "We have never seen this particular individual before, so from now on I am sure he will be known as "Clouseau".

He has been aptly named after Jaques Clouseau, the bumbling inspector from the Pink Panther.

The specific cause of the colouration remains unknown, however after receiving a number of comments on Facebook and email, Aoife Ni Foghlu stated that "a possible reason for the colouration is that Cetaceans, such as whales, dolphins and porpoises often turn pink under their bellies when they feed or get excited.

This is caused by the blood vessels coming closer to the surface".

Project Manta has identified 867 individuals on the East Coast of Australia and approximately 90% of those have been spotted in the waters surrounding Lady Elliot Island.

The identification comes from photo-identification and citizen scientists who send them photos and sightings information.

In the meantime, please keep an eye out for the pink manta ray and send any photos of manta rays' bellies to project.manta@uq.edu.au.

We hope that someone will come across "Clouseau" again, with or without this unique pink colour.

Topics:  animals, lady elliot island, wildlife




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Riding for the Disabled takes new trailer for a test run

Rider Tim and his trusty pony Tabitha were the first to try it out

Teen in serious condition after single-vehicle crash

Initial investigation indicate at 9:40pm a car was travelling west on Maryborough - Biggenden Road when it left the road, rolling several times before coming to a stop.

Car has left the road and rolled in single-vehicle crash

Bypass is ‘integral’

TAKE ACTION: Graeme Ransley is calling for state funding for the Bowen Basin Service Link Road (Walkerston Bypass).

GRAEME Ransley has been first at the scene of many serious crashes

Latest deals and offers

Health Concerns

HEALTH CONCERNS: Edenbrook Estate residents are concerned about the proposed development of a Windrow Composting Facility at Kay McDuff Drive Norville. Craig Brooks, Jodie Brooks, Keith Mansfield, Ron Geyer, Na Geyer, Clinton Church, Robert Astill, June Lavander, Leah Whaleboat, Joe Galea, Andrea Astill, Maureen Cox and Larry Cox. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

HEALTH CONCERNS: Edenbrook Estate residents are concerned about the proposed...

Dos and don'ts of dog attacks

A video showing what to do and what not to do when confronted by an angry or...

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked