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Kona Manta Ray Identification Project
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Photo by Keller Laros
Number: 1
Name: Lefty
Sex: Female
Current Size: 12feet
Last Sighting: ongoing
First Size: unknown
First Sighting: Jun 1, 1979
   
   
   

Lefty is the friendliest manta ray in the world! She is the first manta ray we identified because of her bent left cephalic fin. When curled up, her left fin is bent inward rather than straight out. When uncurled, the left fin sometimes hangs down and almost looks normal. Usually the left fin is folded in front of her mouth and often channels water and food away from rather than into her mouth. Because of this, we consider her feeding challenged. With a 12' wing span, Lefty is a large manta. She will approach people and has been known to lean on divers as she pivots and circles while feeding. Lefty is the most consistent dinner guest we see at the Kona Surf site and was first seen there by Captain Steve Myklebust of Sandwich Isle Divers in 1979. We also see her at Ho'ona Bay and sometimes cruising the reefs during the day. She has also appeared in the December 1995 issue of National Geographic magazine.