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Related FAQs:  Flatfishes, Freshwater "Flounders"

Family Accounts:  Paralichthyidae, Bothidae, Achiridae, Freshwater "Flounders"

/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

Pleuronectiform Fishes: Flounders, Halibuts, Soles, Tonguefishes


Bob Fenner



Order Pleuronectiformes

Adults are not bilaterally symmetrical, juveniles are with one eye migrating to the other side of the cranium; dorsal and anal fins have long bases Bodies are  highly compressed, somewhat rounded on eyed side and flat on blind side with eyes that can protrude above body surface allowing fish to see when buried in the substrate;  

About Freshwater "Flounders" of the Families Achiridae, Soleidae, Cynoglossidae, Pleuronectidae. Yes, there are maybe four true freshwater Flatfishes, though strictly speaking they are not true "flounders", as well as many brackish species that venture upriver temporarily. 

Family Achiridae,  American Soles. Western Amphi-Atlantic. Fresh, Brackish and Marine.


Family Bothidae, Lefteye Flounders. Marine; Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Oceans.

Cynoglossidae, the Tonguefishes: Marine, some venturing into freshwater. Worldwide tropical, subtropical seas. Here's an unknown species in NSUL at night.

Family Pleuronectidae: The Right Eye Flounders.

Family Samaridae. Three genera, 20 species. Indo-Pacific; marine, tropical and subtropical. Generally deepwater. Dorsal fin originates before eye, lack postcleithra, pelvic fins symmetrical.

Samaris cristatus Gray 1831, Cockatoo Right Eye Flounder. Indo-West Pacific; all of Indian Ocean to Noumea. To 22 cm. Found on silty sandy bottoms, whipping out their under-tucked longer dorsal fin rays to confuse potential predators. N. Sulawesi image.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available
Family Soleidae, Soles: Entering freshwater in Africa, Asia, Australia.

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