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Flounder - Paralichthys albigutta

Family Bothidae, LEFTEYE FLOUNDERS

Body color brown, its shade depending on color of bottom, with numerous spots and blotches; 3 prominent eye-like spots forming a triangle; one spot on lateral line, one above, one below; numerous white spots scattered over body and fins (albigutta, white spotted); strong canine-like teeth; caudal fin in shape of wedge, its tip in the middle

Similar fish: Southern flounder, P lethostigma (no eye-like spots; color pattern is key to distinguishing the two species).

Where found: INSHORE on sandy or mud bottoms, often ranging into tidal creeks; occasionally caught on NEARSHORE rocky reefs.

Size: Common to 2 pounds, generally smaller than southern flounder.

Remarks: Hatches into usual fish form, but right eye migrates overt to left side early in life; a bottom dweller; thought to spawn offshore; feeds on crustaceans and small fishes.

Florida record: Southern Flounder - 22 lbs., 7 oz.