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Left Handed Flatfishes, Left-eyed Flounders, Lefteye Flounders

Compiler and date details

Douglass F. Hoese & Dianne J. Bray


Members of the family Bothidae occur worldwide in tropical and temperate regions. Currently, 20 genera and 140 species are recognised worldwide (Nelson 2006). The family is represented in Australian waters by 16 genera and 51 species.

Lefteye flounders are commonly found over sand or mud, adjacent to coral reefs, in estuaries and coastal embayments and on the continental shelf and slope. Maximum size reached is 88 cm, about 25 cm in Australia.

Norman (1934) in his extensive monograph recognised the family as a very large one, with several subfamilies. Amaoka (1969) discussed relationships, and proposed a possible multiple origin of flatfishes. Lauder & Liem (1983) presented a cladogram giving a tentative classification of flatfishes. Hensley & Ahlstrom (1984) separated a group of flounders, now the Paralichthyidae, from the Bothidae.

The family has been studied extensively by K. Amaoka (1963a, 1963b), with other revisionary work by Amaoka & Yamamoto (1984), Amaoka et al. (1993), Hensley & Randall (1993), Hensley (1997), Hensley & Smale (1997), Amaoka & Larson (1999) and Hensley (2005). Much work is still needed, particularly on species found in the deeper parts of the continental shelf and slope. Norman (1934) is still the only major study that provides a comprehensive work on a number of species. Hensley (1986) briefly summarised the status of genera, providing approximate number of species.

Many of the tropical species from Australia are treated in Hensley & Amaoka (2001). Asterorhombus annulatus, recently shown by Amaoka & Mihara (2001) to be distinct from A. intermedius, is known from Indonesia and New Caledonia and is likely to occur in Australian waters. M. Arai kindly provided unpublished information regarding Arnoglossus in Australia.


General References

Amaoka, K. 1963a. A revision of the flatfish referable to the genus Engyprosopon found in the waters around Japan. Bulletin of the Misaki Marine Biological Institute. Kyoto University 4: 107-121

Amaoka, K. 1963b. A revision of the flatfish referable to the genus Psettina found in waters around Japan. Bulletin of the Misaki Marine Biological Institute. Kyoto University 4: 53-62 figs 1-6

Amaoka, K. 1969. Studies on the sinestral flounders found in the waters around Japan. Taxonomy, anatomy, and physiology. Journal of the Shimonoseki College of Fisheries 18: 65-340

Amaoka, K., Mihara, E. & Rivaton, J. 1993. Pisces, Pleuronectiformes: Flatfishes from the waters around New Caledonia. — A revision of the genus Engyprosopon. Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] 158: 377-426

Amaoka, K. & Larson, H.K. 1999. New species of Psettina (Pleuronectiformes: Bothidae) from off Western Australia, and record of a rare species. Copeia 1999(4): 1072-1078 figs 1-3

Amaoka, K. & Mihara, E. 2001. Asterorhombus annulatus (Weber, 1913), a valid species distinct from Asterorhombus intermedius (Bleeker, 1865) (Pleuronectiformes: Bothidae). Ichthyological Research 48: 192-196

Amaoka, K. & Yamamoto, E. 1984. Review of the genus Chascanopsetta, with the description of a new species. Bulletin of the Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University 35(4): 201-224

Hensley, D.A. 1986. Current research on Indo-Pacific bothids. p. 941 in Uyeno, T., Arai, R., Taniuchi, T. & Matsuura, K. (eds). Indo-Pacific Fish Biology. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Indo-Pacific Fishes. Tokyo : Ichthyological Society of Japan 985 pp.

Hensley, D.A. 1997. A new species of Bothus (Pleuronectiformes: Bothidae) from Mozambique. Special Publication J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology 58: 1-8

Hensley, D.A. 2005. Revision of the genus Asterorhombus (Pleuronectiformes: Bothidae. Copeia 2005(3): 445-460

Hensley, D.A. & Ahlstrom, E.H. 1984. Pleuronectiformes: relationships. pp. 670-687 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760

Hensley, D.A. & Amaoka, K. 2001. Bothidae. pp. 3799-3841 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Hensley, D.A. & Randall, J.E. 1993. Description of a new flatfish of the Indo-Pacific genus Crossorhombus (Teleostei: Bothidae), with comments on congeners. Copeia 1993(4): 119-126 figs 1-6

Hensley, D.A. & Smale, M.J. 1998. A new species of the flatfish genus Chascanopsetta (Pleuronectiformes: Bothidae) from the coasts of Kenya and Somalia with comments on C. lugubris. Special Publication J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology 59: 1-16, figs 1-5 [dated 1997]

Hoese, D.F. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Bothidae. pp. 1810-1823 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. [1810]

Lauder, G.V. & Liem, K.F. 1983. The evolution and interrelationships of the actinopterygian fishes. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 150: 95-197

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.

Norman, J.R. 1934. A Systematic Monograph of the Flatfishes (Heterosomata) Psettodidae, Bothidae, Pleuronectidae. London : British Museum Vol. 1 459 pp. 317 figs.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
08-Jul-2015 PLEURONECTOIDEI 07-Jul-2015 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)