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Species: Paralichthys dentatus, Summer Flounder

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

flat space between eyes
large mouth, 1 row canines both jaws
D 80-96; A 61-73
+/- 5 strong ocelli: 1 on LL, 2 each body profile
lower gill rakers 15+
LL arched, 91-106

Paralichthys dentatus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Summer Flounder

Body oval, elongate (41-47% of SL); eyes on left side; narrow and flat between eyes; upper profile of head straight; mouth large (top jaw 42-53% of head length), ends under rear edge of lower eye in adults; teeth are large canines, in a single row on each jaw; 15 (13-18) lower gill rakers; dorsal rays 80-96, its origin above center between nostrils, front rays not elongated; 61-73 anal rays; pectoral fins on both sides of body, with branched rays, eye-side fin short (not reaching to straight part of lateral line) and rounded, 10-12 rays; pelvic fin bases symmetric, base of neither fin on body midline, fins same size; urinary papilla on eye side, immediately behind level of anus; tail with a blunt point; eye-side scales smooth and small, 91-106 on lateral line; lateral line well developed on both sides, extending onto head, with branches to upper eye and below lower eye, strongly arched over pectoral fin.

Eye side brown to grey, to grey brown, reddish to blackish; usually 5 prominent dark ocelli on rear half of body on eye-side, two pairs near dorsal and anal fin bases, 1 on lateral line between the two pairs.

Size: 94 cm.

Habitat: salt marsh and tidal flats for juveniles, to deeper sandy bottoms for adults.

Depth: 10-183 m, but usually in <40 m.

Maine to S Florida.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 94
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 183