California halibut

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

California halibut
Halibut 300.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Family: Paralichthyidae
Genus: Paralichthys
P. californicus
Binomial name
Paralichthys californicus
(Ayres, 1859)

Hippoglossus californicus Ayres, 1859

A well camouflaged California halibut

The California halibut or California flounder (Paralichthys californicus) is a large-tooth flounder native to the waters of the Pacific Coast of North America from the Quillayute River in Washington to Magdalena Bay in Baja California. It feeds near shore and is free swimming. It typically weighs 6 to 30 pounds (3 to 23 kg). It is much smaller than the larger and more northern-ranging Pacific halibut that can reach 300 pounds (140 kg).

This is an unusual fish in that one eye has to migrate around from one side to the other as it grows from an upright fry or baby fish into an adult fish that lies on its side. The adult has two eyes on the up-side as it lies on the bottom. Most flatfish are generally either right-eyed or left-eyed, but the California halibut is unusual in having a roughly even number of each type. Like other flatfish, the halibut hides under sand or loose gravel and blends into the bottom.


  1. ^ Lea, B. & van der Heiden, A. (2010). "Paralichthys californicus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T183801A8179465. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T183801A8179465.en. Downloaded on 21 March 2018.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Miller, D.L. and R.N. Lea. 1972. Guide to the coastal marine fishes of California. Calif. Dept. Fish and Game, Fish Bull. 157. 299 p
  • Oda, D. 1991. Development of eggs and larvae of California halibut Paralichthys californicus and fantail sole Xystreurys liolepis (Pisces: Paralichthyidae). Fishery Bulletin, U.S. 89:387-402.