Sharptail Mola (Masturus lanceolatus) – Profile | Facts

(Last Updated On: April 12, 2021)

Sharptail mola (Masturus lanceolatus) is a species of mola which is commonly seen in tropical and temperate waters. You will find this popular Sharptail mola resembles the appearance of sea-sunfish (Molla mola) but can be distinguished by its clavus (pseudo-tail) projection.

Some of the other common names include sharpfin sunfish, point-laced sunfish, and trunkfish. Rarely, little is known about the biology or life history of Sharptile moles. It has become important for commercial fishermen throughout East Taiwan. This species is the only member of its genus.

Sharptail mola

Distribution and Accommodation

Tropical and temperate water is good for sharptail mola distribution. It is a worldwide distributed species. They are native to the epileptic region but rarely appear on the surface, many of whom appear to be ill and parasitic.

During the day, they spend most of their time in depths of 5-200 meters (16–656 feet), preferring water temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius, but making frequent dives in cool, deep waters, perhaps to avoid feeding or hunting.

At night, they spend most of their time between 100 and 250 meters (330 and 820 feet). They are targeted at depths of 670০ m (2,20 ft) in the Mesoplastic Zone but can reach more than 5,7 m (5,7 ft). A tagged person in the Gulf of Mexico moves 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on a separate day.

Sharptail mola Description

One of the largest bone fishes, the Sharptail mola has a length of 3.4 meters (11 feet) and can weigh 2,000 kg (4,400 pounds). It has an oval body with an equally convex forehead profile.

The eye is more forward to the head than the molar Jonas. The teeth of both jaws are blended into bony-like plates. The dorsal and anal fins are placed laterally, and the base of the dorsal fin is longer than the anal fin.

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In place of a soft fin, the dorsal and anal fins merge into a clavus composed of 18-2 fin rays. The central rays of the clavus are supported by the latest vertebra and form an elongated triangular lobe; Some authors believe that these rays may be the remnants of the larval mammals, although this is controversial.

Their skin is covered with a small dermal denticle which is finer than the sea sunflower. Their colors are silver with gray to black on the upper parts of the sides.

The sides can withstand poorly defined dark spots. Dorsal and anal fins are slate gray, while the clavus may become pale spots.

This species is distinguished by its prominent chin, similar to that of Masturus auxiropterus, lacking a convexity over the eye and an unequal length of the dorsal and anal fin bases. These two variants may represent different sexes of the same species.

Sharptail mola

Biology and Ecology

Biologist Robert Colette, researched a lot about the Sharptail mola. He endeavored to examine some of the first known specimens of Sharptail mola.

Colette speculated that mola might represent unusual sea sunfish traits that have retained larval features as a whole. However, childhood projection is now known as an early development that follows the loss of the primary tail.

Sharptail mola’s swim mode is just like any other sea sunfish, it uses the long surface and the scaling speed of anus to propel itself through the water.

The anal fin runs more widely than the dorsal fin. Small weird wings are regularly removed to control the pitch, while the clavus is employed as a rudder.

The adults probably feed on the Medusa, Siphonophores, Stenophorus, and Salps, as well as some fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. Sharptail joints are sometimes attached to the surface of their body or inside their cavity.

In 1949, a Sharptail mola off North Carolina was found with a common remora (Rimora remolla) enclosed inside the gill arch on the right. It apparently impaired the breathing of molars, which is established on the beach and collected fishermen.

Ovary of Mola, as well as most fecund of all fishes, are infarct the larvae, which is the next generation of the fish breeds. At this stage, the body is deep and compressed, beneath the abdominal region, with a thin, bushy structure. This ridge is made from the skin and is covered by several small spinal rows.

The skin is rough, covered with small prickles. The vertebrae eventually diminish in size and disappear, touching the side of young fish up to a length of fish০ mm (2.5 inches).

Their color is dark brown on the back, very light on the sides and abdomen. The lifetime of this species is estimated to be 85 years for males and 105 years for females.


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