Lefty

Lefty was identified on June 1, 1979, by Steve Myklebust. This is almost 45 years ago! She was about 8 feet across when first encountered.

Lefty was one of the most famous manta rays. Unfortunately, we have not seen her since April of 2016.

Her paralyzed left cephalic fin easily identified her. When she was feeding, her fin usually flopped below or directly into her mouth. When she was not feeding, and her cephalic fins were rolled up, her left fin pointed inward at a right angle instead of straight out in front of her. She frequented Manta Heaven but was also seen often at Manta Village. She was known to brush bellies with snorkelers or grace over a diver’s head, leaving guests with an experience they would never forget.

 

SPECIES

Mobula Alfredi (reef)

GENDER

Female

WINGSPAN

12-13 feet

MARKINGS

Diamond shaped spot marking

IDENTIFIED BY

Steve Myklebust

IDENTIFICATION DATE

06/01/1979

Lefty'S MARKINGS

Lefty had a diamond shaped spot with a space between her spot pattern.

Lefty's Injuries/scarring

Lefty's left cephalic fin was paralyzed. She also had scarring from a boat propeller injury on her right wingtip.

Have you met Lefty? Share your story!

6 Comments

  1. Ashley Harmening

    would Lefty migrate to Thailand? because there is a manta ray there referred to as Lefty due to an injured fin and she is alive and well as of 2023.

    Reply
  2. marcel

    Hi there! Went on snorkeling today at Kona to watch the mantas and the captain of the boat told the story about Lefty and mentioned she was spotted 2 or 3 days ago! Hope this is true and she is fine!

    Reply
    • Martina Wing

      I am sorry to say but I cannot confirm the sighting. Lefty was seen for 37 years regularly (1979 to 2016), like 150 times/year, and then suddenly not. We believe that Kona was her home range, and that she did not move to another place. Jana Ray has also a damaged cephalic fin (but on the right side), and often folks get them confused. Check out Jana’s page: https://mantarayadvocates.com/manta-ray/jana-ray-hawaii/

      Reply
  3. Michelle Deal

    Hello,

    Are there other KONA mantas with a bent left cephalic lobe? I recently encountered a manta who I thought was Lefty but I’m seeing here that she hasn’t been seen for a while. I have a video of her bent cephalic lobe but not her underside markings. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Martina Wing

      Hi, it would be great to see the video. Can you share a link? It’s best to email us at info@mantarayshawaii.com.
      Damaged cephalic fins are unfortunately not uncommon: Jana Ray‘s right cephalic fin is paralyzed. Tim Ray’s and Guillermo’s are mangled, and Koie Ray‘s was cut-off because it was too damaged.

      Reply

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