Slender Sunfish


Name: Slender Sunfish

Local name: Einalshams

Scientific name: Ranzania laevis

Classification: Class: ray-finned fishes; Order: plectognaths; Family: ocean sunfishes (Molidae)

Size: It attains a length of 80 cm.


This pelagic species occurs from the surface to the greatest depths of the Arabian Gulf. It is usually found as solitary individuals, but may form schools. It feeds on planktonic crustaceans


The Slender Sunfish is cosmopolitan, found worldwide in tropical to warm temperate seas.

Conservation status:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classifies the Slender Sunfish as Least Concern (LC) in its global assessment. It has not yet been assessed regionally for the Arabian Gulf. This species does not appear to be utilized.


The body is strongly compressed and bluntly lanceolate. Caudal peduncle and caudal fin are replaced by a short rudder-like structure called ‘clavus’. The dorsal and anal fins are in a posterior position, very high and lobe-like. The skin is composed of small hexagonal plates. The mouth is vertically oval, and teeth are beak-like. Coloration is variable, the background color being dark bluish grey dorsally and posteriorly, silvery grey on the sides and ventrally. The head and body are often covered with white wavy bars. Numerous deep blue to black dots are variously present on the body.