Sexual Maturity and Spawning of Ocean Sunfish Mola mola in Korean Waters

한국 근해 개복치(Mola mola)의 성숙과 산란

  • Received : 2015.07.22
  • Accepted : 2015.09.08
  • Published : 2015.10.31


The sexual maturation and spawning time of female ocean sunfish Mola mola in Korean waters were studied by observing the gonads histologically. Specimens were purchased in a fish market in October 2013 and May, June, and October 2014. Nine females (total length 100-250 cm, gonad weight 31-3,470 g) and one male (total length 131 cm, gonad weight 60 g) were studied. Histologically, the ovaries became active in May and spawning began in July and continued until October. In July, mature oocytes and yolk globule stage oocytes were observed; parts of the gonad showed traces of spawning, while others had degenerated and absorbed any oocytes. By October, many oocytes had degenerated and been absorbed. Therefore, the approximate spawning period of ocean sunfish is from July to October based on histological changes in the gonads. The asynchronous oocyte development suggests that the ocean sunfish is a multiple spawner, as reported previously. The catch distribution data suggest that the waters around Jeju Island are a sunfish spawning area.


Sunfish;Mola mola;Spawning period;Sexual maturation