Animal Species:Slender Sunfish, Ranzania laevis (Pennant, 1776)

As its name suggests, the Slender Sunfish is the most elongate species of sunfish.  Surprisingly, it is quite a swift swimmer.

A school of juvenile Slender Sunfish

Matthew D'Avella © Matthew D'Avella

Standard Common Name

Slender Sunfish

Alternative Name/s

Oblong Sunfish, Ranzania, Short Sunfish, Slender Mola, Trunkfish

Identification

The Slender Sunfish is a distinctively shaped fish.  Like the other species of sunfishes, the species lacks a true tail, and instead has a clavus.

The fish is silver coloured, often darker blue above, with blue, grey, brownish or green stripes and dots above and dark stripes from below the eye to the ventral surface.

Size range

It grows to 90 cm total length.

Distribution

It occurs worldwide in most tropical and temperate marine waters.  In Australia it is known from northen Queensland, south to Tasmania and west to the south-western coast of Western Australia.

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.

Ranzania laevis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Slender Sunfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Slender Sunfish is an oceanic species.

Other behaviours and adaptations

It is a relatively fast swimming, schooling species.

Classification

Species:
laevis
Genus:
Ranzania
Family:
Molidae
Order:
Tetraodontiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Slender Sunfish, Ranzania laevis, Molidae, blue, purple, grey, brown, green, long and skinny, 30 cm - 1 m, stripes or bands, pelagic, marine, adult,