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Species: Gymnachirus melas, Naked Sole

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye-side: cirri short/absent
complete bars: body ~20-30; C 3-5
body bars = / < width pale interspaces
juvenile all dark
accessory LLs: usually > 7, 3rd - 47-62 pores

Gymnachirus melas Nichols, 1916

Naked Sole

Body oval; eyes small, on right side; snout rounded; mouth small, arched, a little below snout; lips fleshy; rear edge of preopercle covered with skin; gill openings wide, united before pelvic fins; dorsal origin ~before level of eye; pelvic on eye side fused to anal; pectorals present or absent; no scales, body covered with loose skin; eye side with short cirri or without cirri; skin folds and fine cirri on blind side head and body edge; lateral line from head to tail, straight, 7-10 (usually > 7) accessory lines across main line on right side, 3rd accessory LL: 47-62 (35-79) pores.

Eye side of adults with 15-32 (usually 20-30) dark complete cross bars, bars as wide as or slightly narrower than pale interspaces; plus partial crossbars that enter from edges of body; tail with 3-5 complete crossbars; juvenile - all dark on both sides of body and fins.

Reaches 20 cm.

Lives on soft bottoms, entering brackish water.

Depth range: 2-185 m.

Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico.

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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
  • 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)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 185