Paralichthys lethostigma

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Southern flounder
Paralichthys lethostigma.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Family: Paralichthyidae
Genus: Paralichthys
Species: P. lethostigma
Binomial name
Paralichthys lethostigma
D. S. Jordan & C. H. Gilbert, 1884

The southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) is a species of large-tooth flounders native to the eastern and gulf coasts of the United States. It is a popular sports fish and is the largest and most commercially valuable flounder in the western North Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.[2] Its range is North Carolina to the Yucatan Peninsula.[3] It is a "left-eyed flounder", meaning the left side is pigmented and is the "up side".[4] The body color is brown with diffuse, unocellated spots and blotches.[2]




Reproduction and Life Cycle[edit]


Importance to Humans[edit]

Southern flounders are a major and valuable species in the highly important commercial and recreational flounder fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the commercial catch in the Gulf of Mexico is incidental to the catch by shrimp trawlers. Recreationally, they can easily be caught by anglers on a line with either a lure or live bait.[2] Another popular form of collecting flounders is by night gigging. In this sport, anglers use a gig, or a multi-pronged spear, to impale the fish after using a flashlight to spot it in the waters at night.


The genus name, Paralichthys, is usually interpreted as "parallel fish" in reference to the deeply compressed body shape. However, some interpret it as "close to the sea", from the Greek word, para, meaning beside or near. This can be in reference to the way it buries itself in the sand and lies flat as if it is a part of the sea floor itself.[5] The species name, lethostigma, comes from the Latin word, letho, meaning death, and the Greek word, stigma, meaning spots. The meaning "forgotten spots" or "death of spots" refers to the absences of conspicuous large occellaed spots that is common in other species of flatfish.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IUCN (2016). "Paralichthys lethostigma". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Paralichthys lethostigma Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. Species reports
  3. ^ Southern flounder South Carolina Department of Natural Resources species descriptions
  4. ^ Flounder Texas Parks and Wildlife Department species descriptions
  5. ^ Ross, Stephen T. (2001). Inland Fishes of Mississippi. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 525–528. 
  6. ^ Anonymous (2014-07-16). "Lefteye Flounder". Outdoor Alabama. Retrieved 2017-04-27. 

External links[edit]