Mola mola   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Taxonomy
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order:Tetraodontiformes
Family:Molidae

Description
Size: 333 cm TL

Weight: 2,300.0 kg

The scaleless body is covered with extremely thick, elastic skin. The caudal fin is replaced by a rudder-like structure called 'clavus'. Dorsal and anal fins very high with short base, in swimming, these fins are flapped synchronously from side to side and can propel the fish at surprisingly good speed. Pectorals small and rounded, directed upward. Mouth very small, teeth fused to form a parrot-like beak. Gills 4, a slit behind the last, gill openings reduced to a small hole at the base of the pectoral fins. Gas bladder absent in adults. Dorsal spines (total): 0, Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-18, Anal spines: 0, Anal soft rays: 14-17.

Dioecious with external fertilization.

The fish is registered as the heaviest bony fish and as the one with the most eggs in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is poisonous to eat.


Synonym (s)
Orthragoriscus rondeletti Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Pedalion gigas Guilding, 1838
(Junior Synonym)
Diodon mola Pallas, 1770
(Junior Synonym)
Cephalus pallasianus Shaw, 1804
(Junior Synonym)
Diodon carinatus Mitchill, 1828
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus ghini Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Aledon storeri Castelnau, 1861
(Junior Synonym)
Aledon capensis Castelnau, 1861
(Junior Synonym)
Cephalus brevis Shaw, 1804
(Junior Synonym)
Cephalus ortagoriscus Risso, 1827
(Junior Synonym)
Diodon nummularis Walbaum, 1792
(Junior Synonym)
Diplanchias nasus Rafinesque, 1810
(Junior Synonym)
Mola aculeata Koelreuter, 1766
(Junior Synonym)
Mola aspera Nardo, 1827
(Junior Synonym)
Mola hispida Nardo, 1827
(Junior Synonym)
Mola rotunda Cuvier, 1798
(Junior Synonym)
Molacanthus pallasii Swainson, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus alexandrini Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus analis Ayres, 1859
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus blochii Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus elegans Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus fasciatus Bloch and Schneider, 1801
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus hispidus Bloch and Schneider, 1801
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus lunaris Gronow, 1854
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus mola (Linnaeus, 1758)
(Senior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus redi Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragoriscus retzii Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Orthragus luna Rafinesque, 1810
(Junior Synonym)
Ozodura orsini Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Tetraodon mola Linnaeus, 1758
(Senior Synonym)
Trematopsis willugbei Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)
Tympanomium planci Ranzani, 1839
(Junior Synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Giant Sunfish
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries)

Ecology
Habitat:  Pelagic
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Fishes, mollusks, zooplankton
Predator:  Sharks, whales, bony fishes

Biogeography


• Maharashtra, Mumbai (Lat: 18.98) (Long: 72.83) INDIA
• South West Coast INDIA
• INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Rao, DVS (2005) Comprehensive review of the records of the biota of the Indian Seas and the introduction of non-indigenous species Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. 15(2) 117-146 Available at - http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aqc.659
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Maroof, KA (2005) Five additional records of fishes in the Gulf of Aqaba, including Mola mola (Forskal, 1775), new for the Red Sea Zoology in the Middle East 34 45-52 Available at - ZOOR:ZOOR14107044214
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Radhakrishnan, S and Nair, NB (1980) On the metazoan parasites associated with fishes along the southwest coast of India The journal of marine biological association of India The marine biological association of India 22(1&2) 21-38 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf

Page last updated on:2011-12-13

Back to Search