Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Paralichthys aestuarius, Cortez flounder, Cortez halibut

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark brown
gill rakers: 24-31
adult: eyeside scales smooth
D 75-85; A 57-67

Paralichthys aestuarius Gilbert & Scofield, 1898

Cortez halibut, Cortez flounder

Body height 43-44% of SL; head length 27% of SL; eyes on left side (uncommonly on right side), separated by a flat space without a ridge; mouth long, 50% of head length, ends under rear of eye; teeth are large canines, especially at front of mouth; 24-31 gill rakers; dorsal fin begins over upper eye, 72-85; anal fin 57-67; bases of pelvics symmetric; urinary papilla on eye side, immediately behind level of anus; eye-side scales smooth (rough in juveniles), large fish with small accessory scales between larger body scales; blind side scales smooth; lateral line extending onto head, with branches to upper eye and below lower eye, strongly arched over pectoral fin; lateral line scales 96-119;.

Eye side pale chocolate brown, juveniles sometimes with ocelli; blind side pale.

Size: 58.3 cm.

Habitat: soft bottoms, including estuaries.

Depth: 0-45 m.

Central Baja and the Gulf of California.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Cortez + Mexican provinces endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 58.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 45