American smooth flounder

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American smooth flounder
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Family: Pleuronectidae
Genus: Pleuronectes
Species: P. putnami
Binomial name
Pleuronectes putnami
(T. N. Gill, 1864)
American smooth flounder distribution map.png
Distribution of American smooth flounder

The American smooth flounder (Pleuronectes putnami) is a flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae. It is a demersal fish that inhabits shallow inshore salt and brackish waters at depths of up to 27 metres (89 ft). Its native habitat is the temperate waters of the northwestern Atlantic, from Ungava Bay in Quebec, Canada to Rhode Island, United States. It can grow up to 30 centimetres (12 in) in length.[1][2]


The American smooth flounder is a right-eyed flatfish, resembling the winter flounder in shape and appearance. Its upper side, including the fins, ranges in colour from dark grey to brown or almost black, and may be either uniform or mottled with darker patches of the same colour; its underside is white. Females are smooth on both sides of the body, whilst males are rough on the upper side.[3]

Range and habitat[edit]

The American smooth flounder inhabits the shallow salt and brackish arctic-boreal waters of the northwestern Atlantic, living inshore on the soft mud bottoms of estuaries, river mouths and sheltered bays. Its range stretches along the Canada–US coast from Quebec through Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts to Rhode Island.[3]


The diet of the American smooth flounder consists mainly of zoobenthos invertebrates such as crustaceans, molluscs and marine worms.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ranier Froese; Daniel Pauly, eds. (6 October 2010). "Pleuronectes putnami". Fishbase. Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  2. ^ Armstrong, Michael P.; Starr, Bethany A. (1994). "Reproductive Biology of the Smooth Flounder in Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire" (PDF). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 123: 112–114. doi:10.1577/1548-8659(1994)123<0112:rbotsf>;2. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  3. ^ a b Bigelow, Henry B.; Schroeder, William C. (1953). Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. Fishery Bulletin 74. 53. Washington: United States Government. p. 283. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2011-08-12.