March 16, 2020

Another diver has snapped a rare photo of Inspector Clouseau, the world’s only known pink manta ray.

First spotted lurking in the water off Australia’s Lady Elliot Island in late 2015, the 11-foot male fish – cheekily named for the detective in the “Pink Panther” franchise – has been glimpsed only a handful of times since. So rare are the sightings that the photographer behind Clouseau’s most recent close-up, was certain the ray’s coloration was because of malfunctioning camera equipment.

Clouseau was concealed by seven other male manta rays, all flashing more typical white undersides. The fishy octet had assembled to vie for the attention of a nearby female – an elaborate courtship ritual that typically involves a lady ray releasing pheromones into the water before zooming away, triggering a train of males into giving chase.

 

SOURCE: smithsonianmag.com, 2/13/2020