An occurrence of the rare Sharptail Mola Masturus lanceolatus (Lienard, 1840) (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae), in the coastal waters of Visakhapatnam, India

Main Article Content

Muddula Krishna Naranji
Velamala Govinda Rao
Devara Venu


A single specimen of the Sharptail Mola Masturus lanceolatus (Lienard, 1840) (total length 1.39m) was collected from a commercial trawler operated from Visakhapatnam at a depth range of 150–300 m, east coast of India on 12 April 2016.  It was recorded for the first time in Visakhapatnam.  A detailed description, morphometric and meristic characters of the species are provided in this paper


Article Details

How to Cite
Naranji, M.K., Rao, V.G. and Venu, D. 2016. An occurrence of the rare Sharptail Mola Masturus lanceolatus (Lienard, 1840) (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae), in the coastal waters of Visakhapatnam, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 8, 13 (Nov. 2016), 9592–9594. DOI:


Arumugam, G., T.S. Balasubramaniam & M. Chellapa (1994). On the largest sunfish ever caught from the Indian seas. Marine Fisheries Information Service T& E Service No 128: 16–17.

Badrudeen, M. (1995). On the largest sunfish Masturus lanceolatus Leonard recorded at Pariapattinam. Marine Fisheries Information Service T&E Ser No 137.

Das, B., A. Gopalakrishnan & A. Saravanakumar (2012). Rare catch of Masturus lanceolatus (Lienard, 1840) from Parangipettai coast, Tamilnadu. Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Science 41(5): 489–490.

Devaraj, M., P. Nammalwar & R. Thiagarajan (1976). Record of the sunfish Masturus oxyuropterus (Bleeker) from the Indian coast. Journal of marine biological Association of India 18(3): 664–665.

Kulkarnl, C.V. (1953). Local and Scientific name of commercial fishes of Bombay. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 51(4): 948–950.

Hutchins, J.B. (2001). Molidae. Molas (ocean sunfishes), pp. 3381–4218. In: Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (eds.). FAO Species identification Guide for Central Pacific. Volume 6. Bony Fishes Part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), Estuarine Crocodiles, Sea Turtles, Sea Snakes and Marin Mammals. FAO, Rome.

Jardas, I. & B.A. Knezevic (1983). Contribution to the knowledge of the Adriatic ichthyofauna Ranzania laevis (Pennant, 1776) (Plectognathi, Molidae). Biljeske - Notes, Institute za oceanografijuiribarsto, Split 51: 1–8.

Leis, J.L., K. Matsuura, K.T. Shao, G. Hardy, G. Zapfe, M. Liu, L. Jing, R. Robertson & J. Tyler (2015). Masturus lanceolatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T193634A2250642. Downloaded on 21 November 2016.

Liu, K.M., M.L. Lee, S.J. Joun & Y.C. Chang (2009). Age and growth estimates of the Sharptail Mola, Masturus lanceolatus, in waters of eastern Taiwan. Fisheries Research 95: 154–160.

Lienard, E. (1840). Description d’une nouvelle espece du genre mole (Orthagoriscus, Schn) decouverte a l’ile Maurice. Revue de Zoologie 3: 291–292.

Matsuura, K. (2002). Molidae, Molas (Ocean sunfishes, headfishes), pp. 2014–2015. In: Carpenter, K.E. (ed.). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes: The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Bony Fishes, Part 2 (Opistoganidae to Molidae), Sea Turtles and Marine Mammals, Volume 3. FAO, Tokyo.

Nair, R.J., S. Paul & D. Kumar (2013). Record of a rare sharp tail sunfish, Masturus lanceolatus Lienard, 1840 (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) landing from South-west coast of India. Marine Fisheries Information Service; Technical & Extension Series (217).

Nelson, J.S. (2006). Fishes of The World. Fourth Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 345–347.

Parenti, P. (2003). Family Molidae Bonaparte (1832) molas and sunfishes. California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklist of Fishes 18: 9.

Smith, M.M. & P.C. Heemstra (1986). Smith’s Sea Fishes. Johannesburg: Macmillan (Reprinted by Straik, Cape Town, South Africa, 2003).