Mola mola

FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
MolidaeMola mola(Linnaeus)1758Ocean Sunfish

Molidae — Large fishes reaching 3.5m in length. Body short and deep or slightly elongate, strongly compressed, truncate, and without caudal peduncle or normal caudal fin. Dorsal and anal fins similar in shape, positioned far back on body; the posterior portions of each fin more or less continuous with the abbreviated caudal fin. Caudal fin reduced to a leathery fold with a scalloped trailing margin, immediately posterior to the bases of dorsal and anal fins. Pelvic fins absent. Skin of body leathery and thick, scales small, but basal plates in contact and close-fitting, sometimes hexagonal in shape.

Mola mola

Unique Characters: Body depth usually equal to length. Caudal fin without posterior projection or tip.

Similar Species: Sharptail Mola Masturus lanceolatus. Body depth about 1.5 times in length. Midpart of caudal fin posteriorly projected.