Animal Species:Oilfish, Ruvettus pretiosus Cocco, 1833

The Oilfish is the lagest species in the family Gempylidae.

Juvenile Oilfish

Greg Barea © Greg Barea

Standard Common Name

Oilfish

Alternative Name/s

Castor Oil Fish, Escolar, Oil-fish

Identification

Oilfish are brown to black in colour and have sharp bony tubercles between the scales.

Size range

The species grows to 2 m in length and to 63.5 kg.

Similar Species

Escolar, Lepidocybium flavobrunneum

Distribution

It occurs worldwide in temperate and tropical marine waters.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Ruvettus pretiosus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Oilfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
pretiosus
Genus:
Ruvettus
Family:
Gempylidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean. A natural history & illustrated guide. University of NSW Press. Pp. 266.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Gempylidae, Oilfish, Ruvettus pretiosus, black, odd-shaped, < 2 m, no-pattern, tropical marine waters, adult,