This is a gallery of the most often encountered and photographed mantas from around the Ngardmau Channel and Devilfish City area. We have tried to show them from different angles and describe their characteristic individual behavior and personality, which helps with identifying them, especially if you see them more than once. We have given them names, as well as female/ male numbers for identification in the overall Palau database. The Ngardmau area is known for large adult individuals, and high numbers of the rare black morph mantas.
F11 ARETHA - Large Black Morph Female
This beautiful manta is so far the largest black morph female seen in Palau. She is very friendly and totally unafraid of people, you actually have to get out of her way when she is feeding. She is one of the few black mantas I have seen joining the feeding trains on a regular basis.
M11 BLADE - Large Black Morph Male
One of the three largest black males, Blade is regularly seen in the Ngardmau area. He is a brownish
color rather than black, and like most black morph mantas, he keeps to himself and is rarely seen
feeding with regular mantas.
Joker stands out in a feeding train, since he always feeds sideways or upside down for unknown reasons. He is one of the most often encountered mantas at the Devilfish City area.
M12 KERIIK - Small Juvenile Black Morph Male
Another black morph manta, a small juvenile male, Keriik is shy but easily recognized by his sharp black and white belly pattern. He follows around regular mantas to feed with.
F35 MESMEANG - Large Female
This large female has been a regular at the Ngardmau area since I first photographed her there in 2003.
M46 OBAMA - Small Juvenile Black Morph Male
This small juvenile black morph male is more brownish than black in color, and usually by himself. Once he starts feeding, he forgets everything around him and barrel rolls like a wind-up toy, bumping into other mantas and people without stopping. I have seen him do loops for over 15 minutes straight close to the surface in fast-forward speed.