Pacific sand sole

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Pacific sand sole
Psettichthys melanostictus.gif
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Family: Pleuronectidae
Genus: Psettichthys
Girard, 1854
Species: P. melanostictus
Binomial name
Psettichthys melanostictus
Girard, 1854

The Pacific sand sole, Psettichthys melanostictus, is the only fish in the genus, Psettichthys, in the, Pleuronectidae, family. It is a flatfish and inhabits northeastern Pacific waters where it lives on sandy bottoms.[1]

Description and taxonomy[edit]

The Pacific sand sole, belongs to the order Pleuronectiformes, and the family Pleuronectidae. They are considered a flatfish due to their body shape, just like Hippoglossus (halibuts), Solea (soles), and Platichthys (flounders).[2] This fish can get over 62.95 cm (24.78 in) in length and on average this fish can weigh approximately 2.484 kg (5.476 lbs).[3][4] Their dorsal side, which houses both of their eyes, can come in a variety of colors like gray, green, or brown, with blotches of dark brown or black. Their underside or ventral side is usually white.[3][4] By obtaining these colors, the pacific sand sole fish can have a better advantage of camouflaging into their surroundings; making them harder to see by their prey.

Life cycle[edit]

When they are first born, their eyes are on both sides of their body like other fish. However, when the pacific sand sole starts to mature, one of their eyes starts to migrate to either the left or the right side of their body, just like a flounder when their eyes migrate.[5] From that point, their eyes will stay that way. They will live on the bottom of the ocean, on the sand, lying on one side of their body, while both of their eyes are on top of their body.[5]


These fish can be found in and around the Bering Sea, all the way down to Southern California, in the North Pacific Ocean. These fish will stay on the bottom of the ocean at an average depth of 155 m (508.53 ft).[3][4] They live on the sandy bottoms of the ocean. They feed on other fish, worms, crustaceans, and molluscs.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Psettichthys melanostictus" in FishBase. May 2014 version.
  2. ^ Castro, Peter; Huber, Michael E. (2013). Marine Biology. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-07-352420-7.
  3. ^ a b c Pearson, Donald E.; McNally, Samuel V.G. "Age, Growth, Life History, and Fisheries of the Sand Sole, Psettichthys melanostictus" (PDF). Marine Fisheries Review.
  4. ^ a b c "Bottomfish Identification Guide: Sand Sole (Psettichthys melanostictus)". Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  5. ^ a b "Southern flounder and gulf flounder, flounders of the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Interesting Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico and Coastal Mississippi". Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  6. ^ Teixeira, Celia (2009). "Feeding ecology, growth and sexual cycle of the sand sole, Solea lascaris, along the Portuguese coast". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.