Reef Manta ray, Manta alfredi, former birostris at a cleaning station in Raja Ampat - south Misool. Previously, the genus Manta was considered monotypic by most authors. The genus was recently re-evaluated and split into two species, the Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi) and the Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris). Genetic evidence further confirms the existence of two separate species. Both species have worldwide distributions. Manta species are sympatric in some locations and allopatric in other regions. Reports are often mixed as the splitting of the genus occurred very recently (2009). Historical reports can often be confusing as well without adequate descriptions or photographs. Care should be taken when using reports or accounts of the Giant Manta Ray that they are not referring to the Reef Manta Ray (or vice versa).