|Northern tonguefish, Symphurus pusillus|
|Subfamilies & Genera|
Tonguefishes are a family, Cynoglossidae, of flatfishes. They are distinguished by the presence of a long hook on the snout overhanging the mouth, and the absence of pectoral fins. Their eyes are both on the left side of their bodies, which also lack a pelvic fin. This family has three genera with a total of more than 140 species. The largest reaches a length of 66 cm (26 in), though most species only reach half that size or less.
Symphurus thermophilus lives congregating around "ponds" of sulphur at hydrothermal vents on the seafloor. No other flatfish is known from hydrothermal vents. Scientists are unsure of the mechanism that allows the fish to survive and even thrive in such a hostile environment.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). "Cynoglossidae" in FishBase. October 2012 version.
- Chapleau, Francois & Amaoka, Kunio (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 225. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2014). Species of Cynoglossus in FishBase. May 2014 version.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2014). Species of Paraplagusia in FishBase. May 2014 version.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2014). Species of Symphurus in FishBase. May 2014 version.
- Munroe, T.A. and Hashimoto, J. (2008). A new Western Pacific Tonguefish (Pleuronectiformes: Cynoglossidae): The first Pleuronectiform discovered at active Hydrothermal Vents. Zootaxa 1839: 43–59.
- "Fish dance on sulphur cauldrons". BBC News. 14 December 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2010.