Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Achirus achirus, Drab Sole

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark brown +/- 8 cross-bars, +/- irregular spots
eyes small
D 59-68; A 43-51
pectoral 3-4

Achirus achirus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Drab Sole

Body oval; eyes small (2.1-3.6% SL), on right side; snout rounded; front margin of head with short tentacles; mouth small, oblique, a little under snout; lips fleshy; rear edge of preopercle covered with skin, visible as a superficial groove; gill openings wide, united before pelvic fins; an opening connects gill chambers on both sides; dorsal origin ~ above eye dorsal rays 59-68; anal rays 43-51; pelvic on eye side fused to anal fin; eye-side pectoral rays 3-4 (0-5), blind side usually with 1 pectoral ray ; lateral line from head to tail, straight, with perpendicular branches running across body; body covered with rough scales, and clusters of cirri; .body cirri long and filamentous in small fish, fewer and shorter in larger, disappearing in the largest individuals; underside of mouth and front dorsal fin rays with well developed cirri.

Eye-side dark brownish grey with ~8 dark lines across body, plus scattered small spots and irregular dark blotches where there are clusters of filaments.

Size: to 37 cm.

Inhabits sand-mud bottoms in estuaries, also into freshwater.

Depth: 1-20 m.

The Gulf of Paria to the mouth of the Amazon river.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 37
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20