Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Ruvettus pretiosus, the Oilfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate, fusiform
large round eye
D XIII-XV (low) + 15-18
D & A: 2 finlets behind
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.

Size: 305 cm.

Habitat: Oceanic; near-bottom pelagic, typically on the outer continental shelf.

Depth: 50-1160 m.

Circumglobal, temperate to tropical, California and Baja, Costa Rica to Panama, Ecuador to Peru.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Offshore Only
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column only
  • Mid Water
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
  • East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
Regional Endemism
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 305
Depth Range Min
  • 50
Depth Range Max
  • 1160