Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Syacium ovale, Oval flounder

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eyes together, parallel
snout =/> eye
no notch before eye
D & pectorals: no elongate front rays
tail base not narrow
7-9 lower gill rakers
body & fins: dark spots

Syacium ovale (Günther, 1864)

Oval flounder

Body height 39-48% of SL; head length 26-30% of SL; snout with smooth concavity, but no notch, before top eye; snout length before top eye < 24% of head length, =/ > eye diameter; eyes on left side (uncommonly on right side);  eyes ~ parallel, close, width between them < 6% of head length; mouth of moderate length, top jaw on eye side 32-38% of head length, ends under mid-eye; jaws on blind side not arched; fixed teeth in 2 rows in upper jaw, 1 row lower jaw; 7-9 short, fat, serrated lower gill rakers; dorsal rays 83-91, front rays not elongated; 64-71 anal rays, none elongated; pectoral fin 59-71% head length in both sexes; base of eye side pelvic on midline of body; tail base not narrow, 33-45% of SL); urinary papilla on blind side, immediately behind anus; lateral line not extending onto head, starts at corner of operculum, relatively straight; 52-58 lateral line scales; scales very rough in eye-side, smooth an blind side.

Color variable from more or less uniform brown to brown with numerous dark spots that extend onto median fins.

Size: to about 25 cm.

Inhabits flat sand bottoms between 9 and 40 m.

Depth: 10-90 m.

Southern Baja and the Gulf of California to Peru; the Revillagigedos Islands.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 90