Ruvettus pretiosus   Cocco,   1829 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Cambraia Duarte, P.M.N. (c)ImagDOP

Size: Maximum 300 cm standard length; common to 150 cm.

Max. weight reported: 63.5 kg

Color: Body uniformly violet or purplish brown when alive, fading to dull brown after death; tips of pectoral and pelvic fins black; margins of second dorsal and anal fins white in young.

Body moderately elongate and slightly compressed, belly keeled with dermal processes between pelvic fins and anus. Head 3.8-4.2 in standard length, 4.5-4.8 in total length. Depth of body 5.0-5.2 in standard length, 6.0-6.3 in total length. Eye diameter 4.7-5.0 in head and 1.6-1.7 in snout. Lower jaw slightly prominent, maxillary reaching to below hind border of eye. Teeth strong, those in front canines. Minute scales and tubercles in skin; lateral line almost obsolete. Anterior dorsal spines as long as diameter of eye, posterior spines shorter. Second dorsal and anal falcate anteriorly, the longest rays slightly shorter than snout and eye. Pectoral fin longer than snout and half eye diameter; ventral fin shorter than snout.
Number of spines in the first dorsal fin: XIII-XV; number of spines and rays in the second dorsal fin: 16-18+2; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: 16-18+2; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 11; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5.

The flesh is very oily, with purgative properties, if eaten much.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Rovetus temminckii Cantraine, 1835
(Junior synonym)
Ruvettus delagoensis Gilchrist & von Bonde, 1924
(Junior synonym)
Ruvettus pacificus Jordan & Jordan, 1922
(Junior synonym)
Ruvettus tydemani Weber, 1913
(Junior synonym)
Ruvettus whakari Griffin, 1927
(Junior synonym)
Tetragonurus simplex Lowe, 1834
(Junior synonym)
Thyrsites acanthoderma Lowe, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Thyrsites scholaris Poey, 1854
(Junior synonym)
Ruvettus pretiosus Cocco, 1833

Common Name (s)
• Oil Fish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, gamefish. Marketed fresh and as fish cakes in Japan; also processed into fishmeal.
Causes ciguatera poisoning.)

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic
Trophic Level:  Tertiary Consumer
Prey:  Zoobenthos, cephalopods, finfish, bony fish, crustaceans
Predator:  Tetrapturus albidus


• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Off South West Coast INDIA (Record: 01/1962-12/1968) (Depth: 180-450 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • 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
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 2 Available at -
  • Silas, EG (1969) Part-1 Exploratory otter trawling surveys by R.V. Varuna and other vessels operating in association with her from the continental shelf edge and the upper continental slope off the south-west coast of India Exploratory fishing by R.V. Varuna Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 12 7-51 Available at -
  • 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 -

Page last updated on:2011-12-07

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