Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Ranzania laevis, Slender Mola, Slender Sunfish

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elongate, height ~1/2 length
dark-edged pale bars & vertical rows black dots
C oblique ridge
lips = vertical slit



Ranzania laevis (Pennant, 1776)

Slender Mola, Slender Sunfish

Body an elongate oval (depth 25-48% of SL), strongly compressed; mouth small, funnel like, a vertical slit when closed, opens at the front, is a beak (without a central suture) composed of teeth fused to the jaws; gill openings small, on side just before pectorals; gill rakers not covered with skin; pectorals long, pointed; no pelvics; dorsal fin 17-19 rays; anal fin 18-19 rays; pectoral fin 13 rays; no tail base; dorsal and anal fins long and high, symmetrical, used for locomotion, at rear of body, their rear rays joined to tail fin immediately behind them that is reduced to a vertically elongate, short, blunt rudder, with oblique profile, no rear pointed extension; skin smooth, covered with small, hard, hexagonal plates.

Dark grey to dark blue above, silvery on sides and belly; head and lower belly with thin undulating black-edged white bars; white spots and vertical streaks on body between dorsal and anal fins.

Size: 200 cm.

Habitat: oceanic.

Depth: 0-140 m.

Circumtropical; Delaware to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 200
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 140