The manta ray (Manta birostris), is the largest of the rays, with the largest known specimen having been more than 7.6 m (about 25 ft) across, with a weight of about 2,300 kg (about 5,000 lbs). It ranges throughout all tropical waters of the world, typically around coral reefs. Mantas have been given a variety of common names, including Atlantic manta, Pacific manta, devilfish, and just manta. Some people just call all members of the family stingrays, though stingrays comprise a separate family of rays (Dasyatidae). Recent studies have discovered that what is called manta ray are at least two different species, one smaller local and one much larger and migratory.
Harper's New Monthly Magazine (New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, 1871)