Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Molidae
(Molas or Ocean Sunfishes)
Etymology: Ranzania: Because of Camillo Ranzani, 1775-1841, catholic priest and naturalist (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; pelagic-oceanic; depth range 1 - 140 m (Ref. 58302), usually - m (Ref. ). Subtropical; 0°C - ; 71°N - 55°S, 180°W - 180°E
Cosmopolitan. Western Atlantic: Florida (USA), Martinique, Venezuela (Ref. 51183), and Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Madeira to Scandinavia (Ref. 4711); Dakar, Senegambie, and Sierra Leone (Ref. 6952); South Africa. Eastern Pacific: central California, USA to Chile; rare north of Mexico (Ref. 2850). Indian Ocean: Madagascar (Ref. 33390), Mauritius (Ref. 58078), Reunion (Ref. 53568), Iran (Ref. 86583), Australia (49596). West Pacific: Japan (Ref. 559), China (Ref. 57879), Taiwan (Ref. 12711), New Zealand (Ref. 5755).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26340)
Oceanic (Ref. 2850), epipelagic (Ref. 2340), and generally solitary (Ref. 9317). Feeds on planktonic crustaceans (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. 124695)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 14.7 - 27.9, mean 23.9 °C (based on 1566 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
): 3.7 ±0.47 se; based on food items.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100) .