|Northern tonguefish, Symphurus pusillus|
|Subfamilies & Genera|
Tonguefishes are flatfishes in the family Cynoglossidae. 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. They are found in tropical and subtropical oceans, mainly in shallow waters and estuaries, though a few species found in deep sea floors, and a few in rivers.
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., eds. 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.
- "Taxonomic status of three nominal species of Indo-Pacific symphurine tonguefishes (Symphurus: Cynoglossidae: Pleuronectiformes)". ResearchGate. doi:10.1007/BF02678697. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Munroe, Thomas A.; Hashimoto, Jun (1 August 2008). "A new Western Pacific Tonguefish (Pleuronectiformes: Cynoglossidae): The first Pleuronectiform discovered at active Hydrothermal Vents" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1839: 43–59.
- Amos, Jonathan (14 December 2006). "Fish dance on sulphur cauldrons". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2010.