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Mene oblonga

Mene oblonga was a small fish from shallow waters in the Tethys Ocean near what is now Italy, from the Lutetian epoch, until the Early Oligocene.  It is a relative of the modern day moonfish (or bilong-bilong), M. maculata, of the Indo-Pacific. Unlike most other Mene species, M. oblonga had a comparatively shallow chest.  During the Eocene at Monte Bolca, M. oblonga lived sympatrically with its relative M. rhombea.  It was either a planktivore, or picked out edible detrius and organisms out of the sediment.  The only known Oligocene specimen, from Chiavon, is referred to as Mene oblonga var. pusilla.


Mene oblonga


(Agassiz (1833))

Meaning of the generic name

Moon (shaped)



Numerous remains found in the Pescaria, or fossiliferous region of the Monte Bolca limestone quarries of Italy, single specimen from Chiavon, Italy

Age and Distribution

Lutetian Epoch of the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy, to the Early Oligocene of Chiavon, Italy


Actinopterygii, Percoformes, Menidae
  Further Reading

Friedman & Johnson, "A new species of Mene (Perciformes: Menidae) from the Paleocene of South America, with notes on paleoenvironment and a brief review of menid fishes."


Life reconstruction of Mene oblonga (© Stanton Fink)