Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Molidae
(Molas or Ocean Sunfishes)
Etymology: Masturus: Greek, mastax, -agos = bite + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; bathypelagic; depth range ? - 670 m (Ref. 36453). Deep-water; 37°N - 35°S
Circumglobal: In tropical to subtropical waters. Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA (Ref. 7251) to southeastern Brazil (Ref. 36453).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 337 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6952); max. published weight: 2.0 t (Ref. 4424)
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Tortonese, E., 1990. Molidae. p. 1077-1079. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 6952)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 8.9 - 17.6, mean 12.1 °C (based on 390 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0312 [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 diet studies.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (70 of 100) .