Platichthys flesus (Linnaeus, 1758)
European flounder
Platichthys flesus
photo by Stergiou, K.I.

Family:  Pleuronectidae (Righteye flounders), subfamily: Pleuronectinae
Max. size:  60 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 2,930.0 g; max. reported age: 15 years
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; marine; pH range: 7.5 - 8.19999980926514; depth range 1 - 100 m, catadromous
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: coastal and brackish waters of western Europe and from the White Sea to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (Ref. 4705, Ref. 51442). Introduced into the USA and Canada accidentally through transport in ballast water (Ref. 1739). Asia: Iran (Ref. 39702).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 53-62; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 37-46. Flatfish, its disc width less than half its length (Ref. 3137). Small mouth (Ref. 3137, Ref. 51442). Eyes mostly (70%) on right side (Ref. 3137, 51442), 79% of dextrally oriented flounder (n = 1076) in Bos, 2000 (Ref. 57574). Rough skin, especially along the lateral line and the basis of the dorsal and anal fin (Ref. 3137). Lateral line straight, slightly rounded over pectorals (Ref. 3137). Green-olive colored (Ref. 51442), the bottom side white (Ref. 3137). Irregular reddish spots on the eye side (Ref. 35388).
Biology:  Migratory fish, which is most of the year found in estuaries (Ref. 51442). Adults occur on mud and sand bottom in shallow water, at sea and brackish; often entering freshwaters (Ref. 59043). During winter, adults retreat to deeper, warmer waters, where they spawn in spring (Ref. 30193). The growing larvae are moving to the coast (Ref. 51442). Larvae and early juveniles use selective tidal transport to migrate upstream rivers (Ref. 57575) using a range of triggers such as salinity, prey density and water temperature (Ref. 57573, 57574). Juveniles live in shallow coastal waters and estuaries (Ref. 57574), which are also the summer feeding grounds for the adults (Ref. 30193). Juveniles of less than a year old feed on plankton and larvae of insects, juveniles of more than a year and adults feed on benthic fauna (Ref. 51442), including small fishes and invertebrates (Ref. 30193). Nocturnal and burrowing (Ref. 30193). Marketed fresh and frozen; can be steamed, fried, boiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988). Worms and mollusks are excellent baits for line fishing (Ref. 30578).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 04 February 2009 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 21.08.15
Checked by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 09.01.03

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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