Family: ACHIRIDAE, American Soles
American soles are small fishes (to 35 cm) with highly flattened, oval to round disc-like bodies; eyes on the right side of the body, close together, small to minute; snout rounded; mouth small, oblique, a little under snout; lips fleshy, often fringed; preoperculum edge covered with skin but visible as a superficial groove; the origin of the dorsal fin well before the eye, the front rays in a skin envelope and hard to see; pectoral present or absent, better developed on eye side, rudimentary or absent on blind side; tail fin not connected to the dorsal and anal fins; both pelvics present, right pelvic joined to the anal fin; usually rough scales; lateral line straight, often hard to see, more visible on eye side, usually with perpendicular branches running across body.
This amphiamerican, tropical to subtropical family contains 7 genera with approximately 29 species. In our region there are 11 species from 4 genera.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MUNROE (2002)