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Summer Flounder

Paralichthys dentatus

Appearance

  • Bottom oriented flatfish with both eyes on the left side
  • Several ocellated or eyelike spots on the body, at least five of which are arranged in an "X" pattern
  • Strong canine-like teeth
  • Wedge-shaped tail, its tip in the middle

Similar Species: Gulf flounder, P. albigutta (has only three prominent eyelike spots); southern flounder, P. lethostigma (may have 5 or more spots but they are not eyelike)

Size: Males can grow up to 24 inches and females may reach upwards of 36 inches.

 

Habitat

Inshore and offshore waters on or close to the ocean floor buried in sandy substrate. Found in waters of the Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to the east coast of Florida, but not in the Gulf of Mexico.

Behavior

Right eye migrates over to left side early in life.

A bottom-dweller thought to spawn offshore.

Feeds primarily on small fish and crustaceans (shrimp, crabs)

Ability to camouflage by changing colors to match their surrounding habitat and avoid predators.

 

Additional Information

Average lifespan about 12 to 14 years.

Recreational Regulations

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles