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Ruvettus pretiosus  Cocco, 1833

Oilfish
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Ruvettus pretiosus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Ruvettus pretiosus (Oilfish)
Ruvettus pretiosus
Picture by Cambraia Duarte, P.M.N. (c)ImagDOP

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Gempylidae (Snake mackerels)

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 100 - 800 m (Ref. 9302), usually 200 - 400 m (Ref. 6181).   Subtropical; 55°N - 43°S, 180°W - 180°E (Ref. 6181)

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 300 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5951); common length : 150 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6181); max. published weight: 63.5 kg (Ref. 4699)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 15; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-18; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 15 - 18; Vertebrae: 32. Skin very rough, scales interspersed with spinous bony tubercles. Mid-ventral (abdominal) keel on the ventral contour. Body is uniformly brown to dark brown, tips of the pectoral and pelvic fins black, margins of the second dorsal and anal fins white in young specimens.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Circumtropical and temperate seas of the world.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Usually over the continental shelf, sometimes in oceanic waters down to 800 m (Ref. 9302). Usually solitary or in pairs near the bottom (Ref. 6181). Migrates far offshore (Ref. 26139). Pelagic (Ref. 5951). Feeds on fish, crustaceans and squid (Ref. 6181). The peculiar wooden 'palu' or Ruvettus hook is used to catch this species in south central Pacific (Ref. 6181). The flesh is very oily, with purgative properties, if eaten much (Ref. 6181). Marketed fresh and as fish cakes in Japan (Ref. 9302); also processed into fishmeal (Ref. 5217). Maximum length reported to reach up to 2 m only (Heemstra, pers. comm. 03/03).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Parin, Nikolay V. | Collaborators

Nakamura, I. and N.V. Parin, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 15. Snake mackerels and cutlassfishes of the world (families Gempylidae and Trichiuridae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the snake mackerels, snoeks, escolars, gemfishes, sackfishes, domine, oilfish, cutlassfishes,. scabbardfishes, hairtails, and frostfishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(15):136 p. (Ref. 6181)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Poisonous to eat (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.57 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Assuming tm>4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (85 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.