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Species: Masturus lanceolatus, Sharptail Mola

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shallow oval, height 2/3 length
D & A very high
C blunt, long center point
lips horizontal



Masturus lanceolatus (Liénard, 1840)

Sharptail Mola

Body a shallow oval, its depth ~ 2/3 its length, strongly compressed; mouth tiny, a horizontal 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 are covered with skin; pectorals short, rounded; no pelvics; no tail base; dorsal fin ~ 19, anal fin ~ 16, pectoral fin ~ 9, dorsal and anal fins long, high and curved, 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, without bony ossicles on its margin, with an elongate central tip; skin thick, tough, with small round denticles.

Grey brown above, silvery below, fins dark.

Size: 259 cm.

Habitat: oceanic.

Depth: 0-670 m.

Circumglobal, tropical to warm temperate; Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern edge of the Caribbean south 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
  • Bathypelagic
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
Egg Type
  • Data
  • No pelagic phase
  • 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
  • Insular primarily
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 259
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 670