Latest News

Holy Mola!

Yvette Barry, 08 Mar 2016.

It spans up to 3 to 4 metres, breaks the scales at 1000 kilos and resembles a giant flattened pufferfish minus spikes. Redmap has been receiving sightings of the unusual-looking ocean sunfish (Mola mola)!  Read about the world's heaviest fish...

This sunfish was spotted by Redmap member Richard Curtis on a Hobart beach

The ocean sunfish is widely distributed around Australia and this recent sighting was logged as far south as Tasmania.  The sunfish often breaks surface waters where its large dorsal fin is easily mistaken for a shark.

Apart from the world's weightiest fish award, the rotund sunfish has other claims to fame:

- eating copious amounts of jellyfish (they have to eat a fair bit to get any nutrition from such gooey snacks) 

- laying up to 300 MILLION eggs at ONE time (more than any other known vertebrate)

- never forming a tail, hence the disc-like shape, and swimming by flapping dorsal and bottom fin

Other sightings by Redmap members of Mola mola, both spotted in Tasmania, include:

Photo: Theo WIlson


Photo: Rodney Brill

Check out more information on Mola mola at the Australian Museum:

Redmap is funded by

Lead institutes