Mola tecta Nyegaard, Sawai, Gemmell, Gillum, Loneragan, Yamanoue & Stewart, 2017
Hoodwinker ocean sunfish
Mola tecta
photo by Nyegaard, M.

Family:  Molidae (Molas or Ocean Sunfishes)
Max. size:  242 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  pelagic-oceanic; marine
Distribution:  Widespread in the temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere (with confirmed occurrence in the southeast of Australia (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria), around New Zealand, off South Africa and Chilean waters) and with occasional, but presumably rare, occurrences in the Northern Hemisphere.
Diagnosis:   
Biology:  This species likely exhibits a similar biology to the other Mola species whereby feeding takes place during deep dives. Stomach contents of three specimens consisted of salps (Thetys vagina and Pyrosoma sp.) and the remains of a nectonic siphonophore, and in one instance, a 3 × 5 mm Styrofoam ball. All dissected specimens were heavily infested with parasites, particularly in the intestines (cestodes) and in the liver (likely larval Trypanorhynch cestodes). Gonadal shape differs between the sexes; the ovary is singular and ball-shaped, the testis are paired, elongated and rod-like and do not appear to frill during maturation. Migrations and spawning grounds, eggs, larvae and pre-juveniles are unknown (Ref. 115933).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 01.08.17

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