ocean sunfish

Scientific name Mola mola
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1758
IUCN category VU
Family Molidae
Genus Mola
Mola mola Mola mola


Mola mola, commonly known as ocean sunfish, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?

Genus Mola

The genus Mola comprises three species: Mola mola, Mola testa, and Mola alexandrini.

All of them have a rounded shape with a highly developed dorsal and anal fin used for locomotion. The caudal fin is reduced to a simple band connecting the dorsal and anal fins.

Mola means "millstone" in Greek.


  • Average size
    200 cm
  • Maximum size
    330 cm
  • Shape
  • Average size
    200 cm
  • Maximum size
    330 cm
  • Shape

How to recognize the ocean sunfish ?

The ocean sunfish measures between 200 and 330 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly argent and gris body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
    omnivorous with carnivorous tendency and planctophage
  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The ocean sunfish is a fish solitary naturally found mid-depth and near surface. This species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency and planctophage .

n general, this species does not care much about other animals crossing its path.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond en eau libre
  • Migratory species

The ocean sunfish is a fish ovipare qui pond en eau libre.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Depth
    0 - 480 m
  • Environment
    Active pelagic

Biotope presentation

The ocean sunfish is most often found at a depth between 0m and 480m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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