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). Subtropical; 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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass 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) .