15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Devil Fish For Kids

Devil fish facts for kids about the fishes with forward-facing mouths.

The devil fish species get their name because of the fins called cephalic fins on their mouths which look like the devil’s horns. These large rays live in ocean water habitats. The devil fish (Mobula mobular) species was earlier confused with the manta rays (Manta birostris) species because Manta birostris and Mobula modular are closely related creatures. These fishes are one of the largest rays of marine life in the ocean. These creatures are also called giant devil rays.

The conservation status of this devil fish species is listed as Endangered. It has been an endangered species for over a decade and concerted efforts for their conservation are required. The devil fish is a magnificent creature of the sea. Here are some interesting facts about these ocean animals, after which you must also check out our other articles on eagle rays and giant manta rays as well.

Devil Fish

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Schooling fish and planktonic crustaceans

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1-4 offsprings

How much do they weigh?

Up to 3,000 lb (1600 kg)

How long are they?

11-17 ft (335-518 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Blackish-blue or brown upper body, white underside with irregular black spots

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Fishing activities, fisheries industries

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them



Mediterranean Sea, Ireland





Scientific Name

Mobula mobular





Devil Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is devil fish?

The devil fish (giant devil rays) is a marine fish water species. These devil fishes are known to communicate through electrical signals similar to manta rays in the water. This is why devil fishes were confused to be manta rays found in water.

What class of animal do devil fish belong to?

The giant devil ray belongs to the fishes class of Chondrichthyes. This means that the devil fishes have cartilage bones present in their body. Other fishes, like bony fishes, have bone tissues.

How many devil fish are there in the world?

The population of devil fish in the marine water world is over 3,000. Due to large fishing activities and fisheries industries, the population of this species has drastically gone south, and the species is now endangered.

Where do devil fish live?

The devil fish live in the oceans. These giant devil rays very rarely come near the shore.

What is a devil fish's habitat?

A devil fish prefers to stay in shallow waters of the ocean of depth up to 164 ft (50 m), as opposed to manta rays, who prefer deep waters. The giant devil rays prefer this altitude due to the penetrating sun rays. The temperature of their habitat is 68-84.2 degrees Fahrenheit (20-29° C). The giant devil rays dive deep in the sea waters for hunting and recreational purposes.

Who do devil fish live with?

The devil fish live in small clusters with other devil fish of their species. They are sometimes observed to have formed large groups when they want to feed on their prey or if they are attacked by larger fishes.

How long do devil fish live?

The giant devil ray has an average lifespan of 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The male devil fish chases female devil fish through the reefs to pursue them to mate. Not as much information as there is on manta rays has been recorded on the mating of the giant devil rays. The female devil fish is ovoviviparous. It means that one egg is fertilized and incubated in the womb. The egg then hatches, and a baby fish with small fins is hatched inside the womb itself. The baby stays in the womb; it absorbs proteins, vitamins, and nutrients from the uterine wall until it grows to a suitable size. After a year and a half, the baby giant devil ray is born. A baby of the devil fish is around 1 ft (30.5 cm) in length at the time of birth. The long incubation period is not helping the endangered species.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the devil fish is Endangered. The population of these creatures is endangered because of the extensive fishing of giant devil ray done by the fisheries industry. Climate change and habitat loss are other reasons behind the endangered status of the giant devil ray species.

Devil Fish Fun Facts

What do devil fish look like?

The giant devil ray is a flat-looking fish. These creatures look like stingrays or manta rays to a layperson. Even scientists had them confused for manta rays for a very long time as they are very closely related. The giant devil ray has cephalic fins like giant wings. The upper half of their flat body is blackish-blue or brown in color, and the lower half of the flat body is white in color. The white-colored portion sometimes has dark spots. The giant devil rays have a tail lined with thorns, which a manta ray doesn’t have. Their mouths have a pair of fins called cephalic fins, which look like the devil’s horns.

Devil fish habitat loss is a big reason behind their endangered status.

How cute are they?

The giant devil ray is really very cute. The blue-white color suits them. Even though they are giant creatures, they have very intriguing looks. Watching a devil fish swim is an amazing experience.

How do they communicate?

The devil fish perceive signals through smell, touch, and sound. But the most developed communication medium, in them, is electrical signals, the same as the manta rays. The giant devil rays can catch and send back electrical signals, which is the primary mode of communication of these creatures. The devil fish when in danger, spouts out black or blue ink from its mouth. It gives them a chance to warn other giant devil rays and manta rays and to escape themselves.

How big are devil fish?

The devil fish can grow up to 11 ft (335.2 cm) in length. They can grow up to 12 in (30.5 cm) tall. These rays are larger than most animals. Devils can be 10 times bigger than a horse. It is sad to see such a beautiful species endangered.

How fast can devil fish swim?

The devil fish can swim at the speed of 12-13 mph (19.3-20.9 kph). It is an average speed in consideration of fishes.

How much do devil fish weigh?

The devil fish weighs up to 3,000 lb (1360 kg). They are pretty heavy creatures.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names assigned for the males and females of the devil fish species.

What would you call a baby devil fish?

A baby devil fish is called a pup.

What do they eat?

The devil fish eat small schooling fish and planktonic crustaceans.

Are they dangerous?

The devil fish usually does not attack humans until provoked. Their tail has thorns which can cause pretty serious puncture wounds when hit with. Their sting is not fatal but can cause a 5-grade pain on a scale of 0 to 5.

Would they make a good pet?

Petting a devil fish will be impossible due to its large size. No waters large enough beside the oceans can hold them. Even if someone makes it possible, it is illegal to have the giant devil rays as a pet since the population of this species is endangered.

Did you know...

The devil fish species have been endangered for 15 years now.

The devil fish is known to have a limited range of habitats.

Not all devil fish in their species have spots on their white bottom.

Naming the devil fish

The devil fish was first confused with the manta rays (Manta birostris). Later, upon further study and observation, it was found that the manta rays have different structures of their mouths than the giant devil rays. Hence, they were renamed the devil fish. The devil fish is also called the giant devil rays, the Raja mobular, and the Manta mobula.

Comparisons with other rays

When comparing devil fish with the manta rays (Manta birostris), it is observed that they differ in size. The devil fish has a thorny tail that the manta ray lacks. Also, you will often find manta rays alone while the devil fish are in groups. Despite being related, these two fishes have different lifestyles.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our nurse shark surprising facts, and sawfish fun facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable stingray zentangle coloring pages.



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