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Kona Manta Ray Identification Project
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La Reina
Images from video by Mark Chesler
Number: 93
Name: La Reina
Sex: Female
Current Size: 22'
Last Sighting: October 6, 2011
First Size: 22'
First Sighting: July 9, 2005

La ReinaLa Reina (The Queen) as described by Mark - Biggest damn manta I have ever seen at Garden Eel. Conservatively, 20 ft. but my gut says 22-24ft. Both Capt. Bill and our snorkelers and divers also agreed, well over 20 ft. North ball, Sat night, while down on the dive, Capt. Bill see's the white underbelly 75 ft. away toward shore feeding away from the main pool of divers. He has 1 light on board which he used to call the giant ray in to the boat. It stayed for 15 mins feeding until I approached with my divers. Immediately I saw this one was gigantic. It was very skittish of us (bubbles) and departed as soon as we approached. Once all divers and snorkelers were on the boat, we lit up our glass bottom with 12 halogen lights and "La Reina" came back! I immediately jumped in and went down to the bottom to get approx 1 min of video until again, she was intimidated by my bubbles. A perfect specimen, not a single blemmish on her. No red marks, no skuffs, just the biggest damn manta ray I ever saw in 10 years of doing this dive both here (garden eel) and the Kona Surf!!

La Reina
image from video by Keller Laros 2011/10/06


And 6 years later, while diving off of Rabbi's Reef, Paul Robinson sounded the tank banger alert and Keller was able to capture video of "La Reina" again! Apparently she likes to vacation in Kona. She was also followed 10 minutes later by another large unidentified manta birostris.