Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Ruvettus pretiosus, Oilfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D XIII-XV (low) + 15-18
D & A 2 rear finlets
tail base no keels
pelvics well developed
skin v rough; belly - keel of bony scales
1 LL, obscure, slight bend

Ruvettus pretiosus Cocco, 1833


Elongate; fusifrom, slightly compressed; head pointed; eye large, circular; mouth opens at front, large; 1 row of large teeth each jaw, canines at front; 1st dorsal fin low, long, XIII-XV spines; 2nd dorsal fin higher, with shorter base, 15-18 rays, 2 finlets behind; anal fin 0, 15-18 rays, with 2 finlets behind; pelvic fins well developed, I, 5; tail fin broadly forked; no keels on tail base; scales smooth, with rows of small spiny tubercles in between them; lateral line obscure with slight curve over pectoral, straight to tail base; mid-belly with keel of bony plates.

Uniform dark purplish brown to brown; tips of pectoral and pelvic black; juvenile with margins of 2nd dorsal and anal white.

Size: 305 cm.

Habitat: Oceanic; midwater pelagic.

Depth: 18-1160 m.

Circumglobal, temperate to tropical; Newfoundland to central Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 305
Depth Range Min
  • 18
Depth Range Max
  • 1160