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Slender Sunfish (Ranzania) Hatched and Attempted Raising in Captivity

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Great Argus, 17 Nov 2021.

  1. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    30 Mar 2018
    I'm not certain precisely when this occurred as it's not clear in the article, but this is very interesting! Wild collected Slender Sunfish eggs successfully hatched and raised to post-larval settlement in captivity, a first for any mola. Unfortunately none got far past initial settlement due to flight response, but it would be very cool to see these eventually aquacultured and displayed. (Larval and post-settlement photos in the article as well!)

    Slender Mola Culture - Fish Culture Research

    PS to mods; feel free to move this to a different category, I wasn't sure where exactly was the best place for this.
    TinoPup, Ursus, Newzooboy and 4 others like this.
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member 15+ year member

    13 Jun 2007
    New Zealand
    "The Slender Mola (Ranzania laevis) was reared from 21 eggs collected in waters off Oahu’s southeast coast in January 2013" - from the page you linked to.

    There doesn't appear to be any sort of publication resulting from or relating to the rearing other than his own website. The only further reference I can find is a paragraph in this 2019 paper (Larval distribution of the ocean sunfishes Ranzania laevis and Masturus lanceolatus (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) in the Sargasso Sea subtropical convergence zone) which says:

    "Reference data for length-related age determination were obtained from rearing experiments in captivity from the Hawaii Larval Fish Project, led by Frank Baensch (Baensch, 2013) which (to our knowledge) is the only available dataset of that kind. However, the data from the website have neither been quality-controlled nor peer-reviewed and thus must be treated with caution." [the citation goes to the website page linked to by @Great Argus]
    Great Argus likes this.
  3. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

    3 Mar 2009
    Zaragoza, Spain
    For what is maybe my most favourite vertebrate species, and for sure at least my most ever favourite fish species, this is a great new.
    I hope it means some day we can see these critters displayed at the oceanic tanks of some public aquariums after being bred successfully in captivity.
  4. DaLilFishie

    DaLilFishie Well-Known Member

    11 Jul 2020
    Queensland, Australia
    Very interesting! If the aquaculture of Slender Molas is successful, I hope they will become available for public aquaria! They only get about a metre in length so they should be manageable sizewise for most facilities. That diving escape response may make Slender Molas difficult to maintain though. Will be interesting to see what comes of this.
    Haliaeetus likes this.
  5. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member 15+ year member

    19 Dec 2007
    Everywhere at once
    Good news! It would be a cool species to see in public aquaria, and, like most large fish, relatively few will be ever displayed. Especially in relation to its enormous egg production. My hope is that this flight response could be managed simply by giving calmer conditions in the tank.

    BTW, the original website shows an enormous variety of interesting fish which are unknown in public aquaria, although they should be easy to display (much easier than slender sunfish anyway).