Family: PARALICHTHYIDAE, Sand Flounders
pectoral rays branched
Distinguishing characteristics of this group of flounders, which reach up to 1.5 m, include: eyes on the left side; border of the preoperculum free, not obscured by skin or scales; dorsal and anal fins not joined to tail fin; pectoral fin on both sides of body, with branched rays; pelvic fin on both sides, (5-6 rays), bases short and symmetrical or nearly so; urinary papilla on either side; lateral line very evident on both sides of body, either straight, or arched over pectoral, the latter with a branch under lower eye. Paralichthyids often are sexually dimorphic in the length of their dorsal and pectoral fins.
There are eight genera (one endemic) and 32 species that enter shallow water in the Greater Caribbean, with about 16 genera and 98 species worldwide in tropical to temperate areas.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MUNROE (2002)