(Puffers and filefishes) > Molidae
(Molas or Ocean Sunfishes)
Etymology: Mola: Latin, mola, -ae = stone mill; because of the shape of this fish (Ref. 45335); tecta: Name from Latin 'tectus' meaning disguised or hidden, as this species evaded discovery for nearly three centuries.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
; marino; distribuzione batimetrica - m (Ref. ), usually - m (Ref. ). Temperate; 0°C -
Stati | Aree FAO | Ecosystems | Presenze | Point map | Introduzioni | Faunafri
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.
Size / Peso / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 242 cm TL maschio/sesso non determinato; (Ref. 115933)
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).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturità | Riproduzione | Deposizione | Uova | Fecundity | Larve
Nyegaard, M., E. Sawai, N. Gemmell, J. Gillum, N.R. Loneragan, Y. Yamanoue and A.L. Stewart, 2017. Hiding in broad daylight: molecular and morphological data reveal a new ocean sunfish species (Tetrodontiformes: Molidae) that has eluded recognition. Zool. J. of the Linn. Soc., 1-28. (Ref. 115933)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
StatiAree FAOEcosystemsPresenzeIntroduzioniStocksEcologiaDietaPredeConsumo di ciboRazione
Nomi ComuniSinonimiMetabolismoPredatoriEcotossicologiaRiproduzioneMaturitàDeposizioneSpawning aggregationFecundityUovaEgg development
Dinamica popolazioni larvali
BibliografiaAcquacolturaProfilo di acquacolturaVarietàGeneticaFrequenze allelicheEreditarietàMalattieElaborazioneNutrientsMass conversion
CollaboratoriImmaginiStamps, Coins Misc.SuoniCiguateraVelocitàModalità di nuotoArea branchialeOtolithsCervelliVista
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6562 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02455 (0.01027 - 0.05865), b=3.02 (2.81 - 3.23), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.6 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (83 of 100) .