Having only been discovered as recently as 1988, information on the biology of the smoothtail mobula is still relatively fragmentary (1). However, it is well known for forming large schools, appearing as conspicuous dark patches slowly cruising along the shallow coastline. Typically, its occurrence in any particular location is unpredictable, with large numbers sometimes gathering in an area for a few days, before disappearing for weeks or even months (1) (6). Another remarkable feature of this species is the frequency with which individuals breach the water’s surface, often simultaneously. The breaching behaviour is characterised by a variety of acrobatic manoeuvres, including head over tail somersaulting and high vertical leaps, followed by loud belly slaps (6).
The smoothtail mobula is thought to commonly forage along the seafloor, with mysid shrimp being its main prey, but more research is needed to assess feeding behaviour and dietary preferences (1). Likewise, very little is known about its migratory habits, other than that it is common in the Gulf of California over winter, when other mobulid species are rare or absent (6). It reproduces ovoviviparously, with each mature female producing just a single pup per litter (1).