Genus Mola


A widely distributed genus with three species, all of which occur in Australian waters.

Ocean sunfishes have a very deep, slightly oblong to nearly circular body with tall dorsal and anal fins, small rounded pectoral fin, a small rounded mouth, and thick skin covered with rough textured denticles. They lack a caudal fin which has been replaced with a short, deep rudder-like structure called a clavus.

Author: Bray, D.J. 2017

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Mola in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Jul 2020,


Nyegaard, M., Sawai, E., Gemmell, N., Gillum, J., Loneragan, N.R., Yamanoue, Y., Stewart, A.L. 2017. Hiding in broad daylight: molecular and morphological data reveal a new ocean sunfish species (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) that has eluded recognition. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society zlx040. doi: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx040 Abstract

Yoshita, Y., Yamanoue, Y., Sagara, K., Nishibori, M., Kuniyoshi, H., Umino, T., Sakai, Y., Hashimoto, H. & Gushima, K. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of two Mola sunfishes (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) occurring around the coasts of Japan, with notes on their geographical distribution and morphological characteristics. Ichthyological Research 56: 232–244.