First observation of the courtship behaviour of the giant devil ray Mobula mobular (Myliobatiformes: Mobulidae)
Courtship behaviour of the giant devil ray Mobula mobular is described from northern New Zealand, temperate southwest Pacific Ocean, for the first time. A mating train consisting of a full-term pregnant female and up to four males was observed over a period of 147 minutes. Their behaviour was similar to courtship behaviour observed in other large mobulids. Biting of the female was not observed, possibly due to the female’s use of the surface to prevent males positioning themselves above her. However, the lead male pressed the female’s abdomen and underside each time the female reached or stopped at the surface. The occurrence of pregnant females and mating behaviour off northern North Island confirms breeding occurs in New Zealand waters.