Scientists have named the new species the Hoodwinker sunfish or Mola tecta (derived from the Latin word tectus meaning disguised or hidden).
The team is yet to determine the Hoodwinker's range, but they have found the fish around New Zealand, off Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales (Australia), South Africa and southern Chile.
The Hoodwinker sunfish can grow up to 2.5 meters (over eight feet), the team estimates, and its slimmer, sleeker body doesn't change much between juveniles and adults.
The massive ocean sunfish — an odd-looking fish with a flat, rigid, tailless body — is not only the world’s largest bony fish, but also one of the most elusive fishes in the world.
Now, for the first time in 130 years, scientists have identified and described a new species of this giant fish that they say has been “hiding in plain sight for centuries”.
Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of the Murdoch University in Australia and her colleagues have named the new species the Hoodwinker sunfish or Mola tecta (derived from the Latin word tectus meaning disguised or hidden).