Ocean sunfish is one of the heaviest bony fish. Sunfish are present in temperate and tropical oceans around the world. The average lifespan of sunfish is 10 years.
Mola mola is the scientific name of the sunfish.
The common name is Ocean sunfish (mola).
Sunfish inhabit the lakes, reservoirs, ponds, and slow-moving streams. The best spots to find a sunfish are those areas that offer a mix of cover—a rocky drop-off leads to a weed bed.
Sunfish mainly seek out the shed and cover and mostly congest around the artificial piers and docks and even around the fallen trees.
Sunfish are most often found in water warmer than 10 °C and are mostly found alone.
Ocean sunfish are common in temperate and tropical waters. They are widely present across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Sunfish have a bullet-shaped body. The color is silvery with a rough skin texture. The color is darker on the dorsal side.
Teeth are fused into a beak-like structure. The skin is covered with reticulated collagen.
Sunfish is a size of about 11 feet and weighs up to 2.5 tons.
The other fishes, such as sharks and whales, can be heavier, but they are cartilaginous fishes; sunfish is the second heaviest bony fish.
The pectoral fins of the ocean fish are small and fan-shaped. The clavus replaces the caudal fins with 12 rays, while the dorsal fin and the anal fin are lengthened.
Sunfish are clumsy swimmers. Ocean sunfish lack a swim bladder and swims near the surface. They wiggle their dorsal and anal fins and steering with their calves. Sunfish show surface basking behavior.
Sunfish are omnivores and generally considered predators as they feed on various jellyfish. However, they also consume fish eggs, squid, crustaceans and larvae and consume large amounts of zooplankton and algae. Sometimes they also ingest the eel grass.
The growth rate is undetermined. However, females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate. Mating practices are complex, but spawning areas are mostly the South Atlantic, North Atlantic, South Pacific, North Pacific, and Indian oceans.
Females produce about 3 million eggs. The larvae hatch into fry that can survive and grow up to 60 million times as much of their original size before their adult stage. The fry resembles the miniature puffer fish.
Although sunfish is a predator to small fish, adult ocean sunfish is vulnerable to
Sunfish can suffocate on sea trash resembling jellyfish, such as plastic bags, and get snagged in drift gill nets.
There are at least 13 recognized sunfish species; some of the common are
Bluegill is the most common species of sunfish and is present mainly in the United States. The average size is 8 inches. They have tiny mouths relative to their body size and are usually olive-coloured.
North American’s abundant sunfish is pumpkinseed sunfish. Anglers sometimes refer to them as common fish. They are similar in size to bluegill and share the same habitat as bluegill.
They have vibrant body colors, usually bronze or bright orange belly, and wavy, irregular blue-green lines on the gill plates.
Redear sunfish are native to the Southeastern United States, and anglers refer to them as shellcracker. They are olive green with a distinctive red edge to the gill flaps.
Although they are more closely related to bluegill than sallies, they have large mouths, as their name depicts that they are common to rocky habitats.
The nicknames are “red-eye” and “goggle-eye” as they have large red eyes that help them to hunt even in low lights.
One of the smallest sunfish species, with an average size of about 6 inches. They are better adapted to moving water because of their elongated body. As a result, they are common in the weedy parts of the moving waters.
The native species of the Eastern United States and Canada. The distinctive feature is their extensive black gill flaps. It is one of the most bright colored sunfish with a reddish-orange belly and green to yellow-brown sides.