Manta Rays in Kona Hawaii

Oops, Nicole Ray is Nick Ray !

by Martina Wing - Saturday, February 11, 2012
Aloha, on July 18, 2011 we identified a new baby Manta Ray at Manta Village. We were sure that it is a girl and we named her "Nicole Ray" after our dear friend Nicole Schmaus from Switzerland. Well, today we have to admit that we made a mistake LOL. On January 26 this Manta Ray was seen again at Manta Village, still very shy, but it came close enough that we could see little claspers !! So, we need to rename Nicole Ray to Nick Ray today.


Nick Ray will be named after Nick Watson, son of Capt. Jeff Watson. Nick works as a swim guide several nights a week and is getting very good at identifying our Manta Rays.

This has happened to us once before in 2008. We were sure that we identified a new female Manta Ray and we called it Lisa Rae. But just a few days later we had to rename the Manta Ray to Capt. Mike. The claspers on young males are very small.

Many guests have asked if Nick Ray (Nicole Ray) is Big Bertha's little pup. We cannot be sure about this, because several females were pregnant last spring. But we are sure about this:
- Big Bertha gave birth in a two week window between June 30 and July 15, 2011 (check out her pregnancy diary here)
- Nick Ray was identified on July 18, 2011 with a wingspan of 3-4 feet..
- Big Bertha was pregnant in 2006 as well and we identified Vinny Ray on July 31, 2006.

This is a hypothesis, but check out the following comparison between Big Bertha's markings, Nick Ray and Vinny Ray. We think there are definite similarities.

More info next week. Keep checking back for news and updates...

With Aloha
Martina, Jim and Ryan