Flounder is one of the varieties of predatory fish. This fish is very easy to distinguish from the rest due to its external qualities. Distinctive features:
- The eyes are shifted closer to the right side and are located at the top of the body;
- There is a clear asymmetry of the body;
- The top and bottom of the body are of different colors, the bottom is always white, the top depends on the subspecies;
- Both pectoral fins and a circular fin are present throughout the body;
- Small but forked tail;
- The eyes can function independently of each other.
Benefit and harm
Nutritionists attribute flounder meat to one of the types of medicinal products. It contains many vitamins, which is why it is so useful for the following diseases: anemia, cholecystitis, heart disease, hypothyroidism, gastritis and chronic fatigue.
As a food product, flounder can be present in the daily diet, regardless of the presence or absence of health problems. With regular use, you can achieve the following health benefits:
- Increased immunity;
- Prevention of many diseases;
- Improving mental performance;
- Restoration, strengthening of hair and nails;
- Stimulation of the genital organs;
- Improving skin tone.
Like other types of fish, flounder itself cannot harm the body, but if it is not cooked correctly, it can cause health problems. Smoked, canned and salted fish contributes to such changes in the body:
- Retention of excess fluid, weight gain;
- Load on the kidneys;
- Accumulation of salts in the joints;
- Accumulation of carcinogens.
Despite its unique appearance, with which fish can live at the very bottom, flounder meat has specific properties. This does not interfere with the use of its white meat for culinary purposes. The fish does not have a pungent smell, it is characterized by a light marine aroma. There are practically no small bones in it, you can cook it in any way. Flounder is a dietary product, per 100 gr. It has only 100 calories, a lot of protein and very little fat.
The most common types of flounder.
- White-bellied. this is the name of a two-year-old flounder, which, in turn, is subdivided into northern and southern species. The southern one lives exclusively in the Sea of Japan, but the northern one is found in the Bering, Okhotsk Sea and on the American coast. It reaches about half a meter in length, individuals from 30 to 40 cm go for sale.It can be recognized by the white blind side and extremely rare lateral bend.
- Yellow-bellied flounder, it is also called four-tuberous. This subspecies is the largest, growing up to 70 cm. The yellow sea flounder is found in cold waters. You can distinguish this type of flounder with a bright yellow color in the blind area.
- Lamanda or yellowfin. This species is the most widespread and numerous; it is divided into several varieties. This species is not very large in size, up to 40 cm, the fish itself is covered with scales, the color depends on the subspecies.
- River or Baltic. It is mainly found in the Baltic waters, in the Gulf of Finland. This species spawns in the sea, for the most part lives in salt water, although it can live quietly in fresh waters. Such fish can reach up to 50 cm and weigh about 3 kilograms.
- Halibut or White Sea flounder is a common type in open waters. Outwardly, they are slightly different from others due to their more elongated shape. The most valuable of all species among flounders.
Describing the subspecies of flounder fish, one cannot fail to mention their feature, the so-called mimicry. Any type of flounder has a dark gray or brown skin, in which there is a pigment that promotes color change.
With this pigment, the flounder can easily copy the shade of any surface on which it lies. Its ability to hide in the sand and silt makes the fish elusive, almost invisible, given that it lives at a depth of 200 meters. When the flounder buries, only the eyes and the upper part of the gills remain visible, which allows the fish to breathe.
Types of flounder and their differences
Is flounder a common fish? It belongs to the ray-finned flounder species. Today, 570 subspecies of flounder are known, but of them only three species are found in fresh water. Young flounder looks like an ordinary fish, after which it acquires a flat shape and a characteristic eye position. Several subspecies of flounder can now be seen on the market, which are highly prized for their taste.
Not many people know how the two common types of yellow-bellied and white-bellied flounder differ from each other. Both species are very large, on the market you can find yellow-bellied or white-bellied flounder up to 40 cm. Based on the name, you can immediately distinguish the difference in color. These two species are very rich in beneficial minerals and vitamins, Omega. The yellow-bellied flounder contains more iodine than the color of the abdomen is due to. They differ in smell, because fresh yellow-bellied fish has a very specific smell of iodine. Which variety is tastier determines personal taste.
Flounder is a dietary food. The meat of this fish is white, with a sweet taste, it contains a decent amount of water, due to which its structure is soft and tender. If you want to cook flounder, it is best to cook it in its natural form without cutting it into pieces. If you want to preserve all its beneficial properties, cook fish in the following ways:
- Fry over moderate heat;
- Bake in the oven.
Cooking the carcass does not take much time, in addition, it is quite tasty with any type of processing, even soups are made from it. Flounder is good with vegetables, mushrooms, cereals and potatoes, and its unique taste will perfectly emphasize the hot sauce.
For what types of flounder exist, see the video below.
This type of fish contains an increased amount of protein and a small amount of fat. 100 g of fresh flounder. 90 kcal. 100 g of boiled flounder contains 103 kcal, and the energy value of fried flounder is 223 kcal per 100 g. The fat content of flounder in this form increases significantly, and its excessive consumption increases the risk of obesity.
Useful properties of flounder
Flounder is one of the components of almost all health diets and this fact undoubtedly proves that fish has a huge supply of beneficial properties. Flounder meat contains a lot of healthy and fully digestible protein, which is demanded by our body every day.
It also contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus salts. It also contains: riboflavin, thiamine, pyridoxine, nicotinic and pantothenic acids. Flounder meat is very rich in B vitamins (especially B12), vitamins D, E and A, which are also present in this fish, also have a positive effect on health.
The beneficial effect of flounder on the body has also been proven by its amino acids: threonine, glycine, aspartic and glutamic acids. Amino acids are very necessary for humans and they are ways to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Potassium, sodium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and other minerals, micro- and macroelements contained in flounder are extremely useful for humans, which:
- Regulate water-salt metabolism;
- Helps convert glucose into energy;
- They are a good building material for teeth and bones;
- Participate in the formation of hemoglobin in the blood;
- Ensure the functioning of enzymes;
- Improves muscle and mental performance.
Cabal meat is also rich in iodine, which in turn increases performance and immunity.
Flounder has another interesting property. Increase sexual desire, all thanks to the presence of aphrodisiacs in the composition. This property is inherent only in some species of fish.
The use of flounder meat in food contributes to excellent strengthening of nails and hair, thanks to vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated acids. Also speeds up the wound healing process.
Eating flounder meat as food in the body increases skin elasticity and promotes good rejuvenation of the body.
For people with weight control and an active lifestyle, flounder is very healthy, especially when grilled outdoors. After all, a balanced composition of fish will help keep your figure in shape.
How to choose
When choosing a flounder, pay attention to its smell; the fish should not have any extraneous flavor. The freshness of the flounder can still be determined by pressing your finger on the surface of the skin, if the fish is fresh, the hole will not form or will fill up soon. You can also rely on the color of the gills, which should be pink.
Nutritional value per 100 grams:
|Proteins, gr||Fat, gr||Carbohydrates, gr||Ash, gr||Water, gr||Caloric content, kcal|
How to store
It is best not to store the flounder, but cook and eat it immediately after purchase. But if there is such a need, then put the fish on a dish filled with ice, fill it with ice cubes on top and put it in the refrigerator on the lower shelf. So flounder can be stored for no more than two days. In the freezer, the shelf life is up to four months.
Flounder in cooking
Dishes from this fish are indicated for inclusion in the diet. They enrich the body with nutrients, are easily absorbed.
In the therapeutic diet, flounder dishes will help the patient recover faster after a long illness or in the postoperative period. Fish meat has a beneficial effect on the respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular systems of the body.
Scientists have found that omega-3 acids elevated in flounder accelerate the death of cancer cells.
The meat of this fish is very juicy and tender. But during cooking, a specific odor may appear, which can be prevented by removing the skin from the flounder. To facilitate the procedure, first remove the scales from the light side, then cut off the head and remove the insides. After that, cut off the tail and fins, and then, firmly grasping the dark skin near the tail cut, abruptly remove it.
Flounder in batter. The recipe is very simple. Take a couple of eggs, beat them, season with salt and pepper, then add a little flour. You should get a dough of a liquid consistency. Dip pieces of fish in the dough and throw in hot oil. Fry until a crust appears.
Flounder with shrimps. Lightly fry the flounder, pre-salt, pepper and drizzle with lemon juice. Fry finely chopped onion, add shrimp to it. Put the resulting mass on the grill, sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven for five minutes.
Stewed flounder. Fry the flounder, frozen can be fried without defrosting. Put and cover with sauce made from juice of one lemon, 50 g of dry wine and herbs. Stir well and simmer over medium heat for one minute.
Flounder is a marine fish that belongs to the flounder family. The strongly flattened body, as well as the eyes located on one side of the fish, are two of its most important differences. The eyes are most often on the right side. Body flounder asymmetric dual color: Eye side. Dark brown with an orange-yellowish spot, and “blind”. White, rough with dark spots. Flounder feeds on crustaceans and bottom fish. In commercial catches, its average length reaches 35-40 cm. The fertility of adult flounder individuals ranges from hundreds of thousands to ten million eggs.
What does flounder eat??
Flatfish menu is quite varied, the fish can be called a predator. These flattened fish can show feeding activity at night, at twilight, and during the day, it depends on belonging to a particular species. The fish diet is represented by animal food.
Young flounder eats:
Mature fish eat:
- All kinds of echinoderms;
- Small fish;
It has been noticed that flounders simply adore small-sized capelin and shrimp. Due to the fact that the fish head has a lateral location, flounders have adapted to deftly gnaw small mollusks from the ground that live on the river or seabed. Thick crab shells and strong core shells for flounder are not an obstacle, because it has powerful and strong jaws. The flounder is reluctant to leave its safe haven, so there are usually enough small fish swimming near it.
It is worth noting that flounder meat is highly valued, for the most part, due to the fact that fish nutrition is balanced and contains a large amount of protein.
Despite the fact that each species has its own individual characteristics, there are still common features common to all flounders, they have:
- Strongly flattened body;
- Close-set eyes with a convex shape. Their movements can be multidirectional and completely independent of each other;
- Unusual asymmetrical head;
- Lateral line located between the eyes;
- A crooked mouth and very sharp teeth;
- Elongated fins equipped with multiple rays;
- The light blind side, which is covered with rough and dense skin;
- Short tail stem.
Flounder eggs do not have a fat drop, so they move freely in the water column (swim), sometimes developing in the upper layer. Only five species from the entire flounder family spawn bottom eggs.
It should be noted that fish of different sexes have a number of differences among themselves. Males are smaller than females, have a longer distance between the eyes, their first rays of the dorsal and pectoral fins are also longer than those of females.
Natural enemies of the flounder
Although flounders have an excellent camouflage talent that helps them to remain unnoticed, the fish still have enemies. One of the ill-wishers is eels, which are not averse to eating flat fish. In addition, large halibuts without a twinge of conscience attack their flounder relatives. Of course, the most vulnerable are inexperienced young animals, which can become a snack for any aquatic predators.
Sadly, but the enemy of flounder is also a person who exterminates this fish because of delicious, delicious, white meat, which is very useful. Almost everywhere, flounder is constantly caught, both by individual amateur fishermen and on a large scale by fishing vessels. It is not surprising that fish rarely manage to live up to the age of thirty, because a huge number of them die, falling into fishing nets.
In addition to direct influence, people also have an indirect one, negatively affecting the environment by their economic activities, which leads to a deterioration of the ecological situation in general. Many water sources (rivers and seas) become very polluted, so small fish, serving as a food base for flounders, disappear in them. People can be called the most important and worst enemies of flounders, because K. Tons of this fish are caught every day. In addition to all the above unfavorable situations for fish, one can also name the fact that the survival rate of its eggs is not so great, therefore, only half of them continue to exist.
Appearance and features
We have already found out that representatives of the flounder family are distinguished by a flattened body, which can have the shape of a rhombus or an oval, all this excessive compression and flattening is associated with bottom life. It is customary to divide all flounders into river ones, which prefer fresh waters, and sea ones, which have chosen salty water areas.
The river flounder is represented by three varieties:
- A star-shaped flounder with a left-sided eye. The color of this fish can be dark green or brownish, with wide black stripes visible on the fins. The ocular side is characterized by the presence of spiked stellate plates. On average, the length of the fish body reaches half a meter or a little more, and the mass does not exceed three to four kilograms;
- Polar flounder, characterized by cold resistance, an elongated oval body and a monochromatic brown color, fins have a red brick shade;
- Black Sea kalkan with eye sockets on the left side of a round body covered with numerous tuberous spines on the eye part of the body. The color is dominated by a brownish-olive tone. The dimensions of the fish are very large, exceeding the length of one meter, and the weight can reach 20 kg.
Sea flounders are very diverse in size, color, shape and location of the eyes.
Among them are:
- Common marine flounder, which is characterized by a greenish-brown color range with orange or red spots. The greatest length of fish can reach up to a meter, and the weight is 6. 7 kilograms. Mimicry among this species is highly developed;
- Yellowfin flounder, loving a cold climate, with a rounded body, which is bordered by yellowish-golden fins. The length of the fish’s body does not exceed half a meter, and its weight is about a kilogram. This species is distinguished by the presence of scales with small thorns;
- White-bellied northern and southern flounder belonging to the bottom variety and reaching half a meter in size. From the side of the eyes, the fish is painted in a milky color, and a brownish or brownish tint appears in the area of the eyes. This flounder is distinguished by a forked, arcuate lateral line;
- Halibuts, which have five varieties. The largest ones reach 4.5 meters in length and weigh about 350 kg. The smallest is considered to be the sterlettooth halibut, the mass of which does not exceed 8 kg, and the length varies from 70 to 80 cm.
Many have heard of the Far Eastern flounder, but it is not a species, but a collective name that unites about ten different species.
Features of character and lifestyle
Basically, all flounders lead a secluded bottom life. In terms of camouflage, they are consummate professionals. Fully adjusting to the surrounding area (the ability to mimicry). They spend the lion’s share of their fish time in a supine state at the bottom or in the depth of the ground, burying themselves to the very eyes. This helps to remain unnoticed by large predators and skillfully grab fish prey from an ambush.
At first glance, the flounder may seem clumsy and slow, it slowly glides along the surface of the ground in undulating movements. So flat behaves when it does not feel any threats, but if there are reasons for this, then the fish instantly transforms into a swift swimmer, whose start is simply lightning fast, and the speed develops very decent in a short period of time.
When the situation requires it, the flounder, like a bullet, makes a powerful jerk of its flattened body, which instantly moves the fish a distance of several meters in the desired direction, while using the gill cover, the flounder releases an energetic stream of water towards the bottom, thereby raising turbidity from it. While it scatters, the cunning flounder can catch their favorite prey or hide from predatory eyes, although it is very difficult to spot the fish, because it merges with the landscape.
Where does the flounder live?
Various types of flounder inhabit all sorts of water areas, let’s try to figure out exactly where this or that species lives. The star-shaped flounder occupied the northern waters of the Pacific Ocean, settling in the Bering, Okhotsk, Chukchi and Japan seas. Fish of this species, preferring fresh water, live in the river lower reaches, lagoons and bays. The Black Sea Kalkan has chosen the North Atlantic Ocean and the waters of the Black, Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. In addition to sea areas, kalkan can be found in the Dnieper, Dniester, in the lower reaches of the Southern Bug, at the mouth of the Don.
Polar flounder, loving a cold climate, is registered in the Kara, Bering, Okhotsk, Barents, White seas. Inhabits cold-loving fish Ob, Karu, Yenisei. Tuguru, where he prefers to live in silty soft soil. The common sea flounder can live in both highly salted and slightly salted water at depths of 20 to 200 meters. This species is considered commercial and lives in the eastern part of the Atlantic, in the Barents, Baltic, Mediterranean, White seas. A typical inhabitant of the coastal regions of Primorye can be called the southern white-bellied flounder, which also chose the Japanese, Kamchatka, Okhotsk and Bering seas.
Yellowfin flounder can be found in the waters of the Japanese, Bering and Okhotsk Seas, where it has spread quite extensively. A lot of this fish lives near Sakhalin and the western Kamchatka coast, where the flat one adheres to a depth ranging from 15 to 80 meters and likes a bottom covered with sand. Halibuts have chosen the Atlantic, are found in the extreme depths of the Northern Ocean, inhabit the Pacific Ocean, including the territories of the Japanese, Okhotsk, Barents and Bering seas.
Now you know where the flounder lives. Let’s see what she eats.
Probably, many are familiar with the outwardly unusual flattened fish flounder, which, in addition to its eccentricity, is also famous for its excellent taste. Of course, from its flat appearance, one can guess that it lives exactly at the bottom, but few people know about its life in the depths of water. Let’s characterize the external features of this unique fish, describe its habits and character, find out the permanent places of flounder dislocation.
Origin of the species and description
The flounder family is a class of ray-finned fishes belonging to the flounder order. These fish are called right-sided flounders, because K. Their eyes are located on the right side of the head. Some fish species are characterized by a right-sided (reversible) eye arrangement. The fins on both sides of the flounder belly are completely symmetrical and have a narrow base. The flounder family consists of 60 species of fish, combined into 23 genera.
Social structure and reproduction
As already noted, flounders prefer bottom solitary existence. The spawning time for each species is individual, it depends on the level of warming up of the water column and the onset of spring. The general period of flounder breeding runs from February to May. There is also an exception to this interval. For example, a species such as turbot enters the mating season from April to August in the waters of the North and Baltic Seas. Arctic flounder spawns in the icy Kara and Barents seas from December to January.
Different types of flounder become sexually mature in the period from three to seven years of age. Females of a larger number of species are very fertile, so one clutch can contain from 0.5 to 2 million eggs. Basically, the incubation period does not exceed two weeks. For fish spawning, deep-sea coastal areas with a sandy bottom are chosen.
Growing up, fish gradually transform, becoming similar to their parents. Their eye, located to the left or right, moves to the side of the second eye, this part of the fish becomes the upper, and the eyeless side refers to the belly, the skin of which becomes rough, because. Used to slide along the bottom. At first, benthos and zooplankton predominate in the diet of young animals.
It should be added that some species carry out eggs at an impressive fifty meters depths, because the eggs have an increased swimming ability, and they do not need to be fixed to any hard surface. The average life span of flounders is quite long, it is about 30 years old, but fish that live to this milestone are considered very rare, because there are many enemies and negative factors on their way.
Flounder (sea) swims and looks quite normal, but with age, its eyes and mouth shift by one half of the body, which, in turn, becomes very flat and asymmetrical. Naturally, the skeleton and internal organs change. Adults lie at the bottom of the lower body and only occasionally rise, starting to move in wave-like movements.
Sea flounder is a predatory fish, it feeds on benthic living organisms.
Flounder of Moses
The red measure has become home to ten flounder species. The most famous of these is the flounder of Moses. It is relatively small in size, about twenty-five centimeters, lives at a depth of no more than fifteen meters. It feeds on invertebrates, moves very little, lies almost all the time, buried in the sand.
Flounder and its subspecies
While talking about this interesting fish, it should be noted that it has become popular with housewives due to its taste. However, not everyone knows for sure: is the flounder a sea or river fish? Very often there are disputes on this score.
So, eleven families are united into a single group under one name, including about 570 species. Of the whole set of these fish, only three are freshwater, and all the rest, respectively, are marine.
Flounder belongs to those fish that live on the seabed. Sometimes it can be found near river mouths. As a rule, it swims at depths of ten to two hundred meters, and in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, its habitat expands to four hundred meters. In addition, this fish is also found off the coast of Scandinavia, Europe, Norway and North Africa.
For life, different species choose different depths, each of them adapts to certain conditions, preferring a certain soil.
Flounder (sea flounder) buries itself in the sand in such an amazing way that it is completely invisible, and only eyes remain on the surface. And they do it very quickly. With the help of wave-like body movements, they lift the sand, then sink to the bottom, and silt settles on them, covering them from above.
Sea flounder: description, habitats, spawning and fishing methods
In our article, we want to talk about flounder. What it is? Flounder is a sea flat fish that has become popular for a long time for its delicious and very healthy white meat.
Commercial halibut fishing
Halibut is highly prized for its high taste. However, its capture is strictly controlled. And this situation is connected, first of all, with the peculiarities of the life of the fish. The fact is that flounders do not form flocks, they swim alone. In addition, halibuts grow very slowly, and therefore large individuals rarely end up in fishermen’s nets.
But a way out of this situation was found, because it is possible to breed fish in artificial conditions. For this, young animals are raised in the pools. When it reaches a weight of one hundred grams, it is moved to sea backwaters, where the halibut grows and develops. Commercial fish is considered to have a mass of two to five kilograms.
River flounder swims in freshwater reservoirs. She is able to travel hundreds of kilometers, entering the seas. This species also belongs to the same family as halibut, however, it has a much more modest size and weight (five hundred grams).
There are quite a lot of river flounder in the Baltic Sea, and therefore it is classified as a massive marine species. It is of commercial importance. The river flounder lives at a depth of sixteen. Eighteen meters, preferring sandy soil.
This variety is considered an ordinary inhabitant of the Gulf of Finland, there you will not surprise anyone at all. At the same time, it is interesting that the fish prefers the southern part of the bay to the northern one. This phenomenon is explained quite simply. The southern part is influenced by the Baltic Sea to a greater extent, here the water is saltier.
During the spawning period, the fish lays many eggs (up to two million). This process takes place in the spring. And in the Gulf of Finland it lasts from May to June. The female lays eggs directly on the sand or the bottom, and eggs begin to develop in the water.
Many of us have heard of halibut, but everyone knows that it is a flounder. What a fish. River or sea, certainly unknown to many. Meanwhile, halibuts are the largest flounders that live in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. A fish weighing 363 kilograms was recorded, and this is the largest value known to science. An interesting fact is that this species of flounder is able to live up to fifty years of age. In addition, flounder is a marine valuable commercial fish.
It spawns at great depths. From three hundred to seven hundred meters. For this, fish choose deep pits, which, as a rule, are located along the coast. Halibut mainly spawns off the coast of Norway, as well as the Faroe Islands, in the Danish Strait, off the coast of Iceland, Scotland, Greenland.
It doesn’t matter which flounder is freshwater or saltwater, all members of this family are very poor swimmers. Sensing danger, the fish turn over on the edge and swiftly swim away in this position. As soon as the danger has passed, they again sink to the ground and burrow.
Depending on where the sea flounder lives, it is able to change its color at lightning speed, acquiring the desired shade. The color of the fish depends primarily on the color of the seabed and its pattern. By changing, the flounder achieves such a color as to be almost invisible. This kind of adaptability is called mimicry. But not all representatives of this genus have this property, but only those that see. Having lost sight, the fish will no longer be able to change the color of its body.
Flounder is a sea fish, the sizes of which range from a few grams to three hundred kilograms. Its mass and size depends primarily on the species. Some individuals reach four meters in length.
Common sea flounder
The basic taxon (Pleuronectes platessa), living in slightly and highly saline water (10-40%) at depths of 30-200 m, is an important commercial fishing object. Breeds in the East Atlantic, Mediterranean, White, Barents, Baltic and other seas. The main color is brown-green with reddish or orange spots. It grows up to 6-7 kg, the maximum size is up to 1 m. It has a well-developed mimicry.
Flounder habitat and lifestyle
Due to their species diversity and biological flexibility, flatfish have successfully acclimatized along the entire coast of Eurasia and in inland seas. Flounder feels great in the Black, Azov, Caspian and Mediterranean seas, in the temperate climate of the Baltic, North and Norwegian seas. Many species have adapted to the slightly saline and even fresh water of rivers with access to the coast. But especially rich in flounder fish are the cold marginal areas of the Pacific and Arctic oceans. the Kara, Chukchi, Japanese, Bering, Okhotsk, Barents seas.
Flounders lead a solitary bottom lifestyle, artificially disguising themselves to the color of the surrounding landscape (mimicry). The fish spends most of the time lying on the surface of the ground or burying themselves in bottom sediments up to their eyes. Such natural camouflage is very rational and simultaneously solves two problems of survival. to catch prey from an ambush and not to be eaten by larger predators.
Despite the seeming clumsiness and the habit of slowly moving along the ground due to wave-like movements, the flounder is an excellent swimmer. It starts instantly and is capable of developing high speed at short distances. If necessary, it literally “shoots” the body several meters in the desired direction, releasing a powerful stream of water into the bottom through the gill cover on the blind side. While a thick suspension of silt and sand settles, the fish has time to grab prey or hide from a formidable predator.
What does flounder eat?
Depending on the species of the taxon, feeding activity can occur at dusk, at night, or during daylight. The diet consists of food of animal origin. Flounder fry feeds on benthos, worms, amphipods, larvae, crustaceans, and caviar. Adults feed on ophiura and other echinoderms, small fish, invertebrates, crustaceans, and worms. Flounder is especially partial to shrimp and capelin.
The lateral position of the head is well suited for gnawing mollusks from the ground that live in the depths of the bottom, leaving breathing siphons on the surface. The strength of the toothed jaws is so great that the fish can easily cope with the thick-walled shells of cardiids (hearths) and crab shells. A largely balanced diet of high-protein foods determines the high value of all representatives of Pleuronectidae.
Another fish that looks like a flounder is a representative of the kalkan family. the sea pheasant, or turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), with a large body without a covering of scales. Instead, nature has provided a defense mechanism in the form of many bone spines. Due to the angular shape of the fins and the outstanding size (length up to 1 meter), the fish is also known as the large diamond. The sea pheasant is a valuable commercial species and is massively grown on farms in Spain, Portugal, France, Iceland and China. The natural range of turbot flounder includes the Baltic, North, Mediterranean seas.
Representatives of flounders live 25-30 years and have an extreme, absurd conformation, which makes it easy to identify them among other fish:
- Flat plate-body surrounded by elongated dorsal and anal fins with numerous rays (about 55 pieces);
- Asymmetrical head turned to the right (less often to the left);
- Closely spaced bulging eyes (functioning independently of each other), between which a lateral line runs;
- Slanting mouth with sharp teeth;
- Dark sighted side with well-developed operculum and small dense scales;
- Very short caudal peduncle with small fin without notch;
- Light blind flank with firm rough skin.
The fish rolls over onto a blind side, which eventually atrophies, brightens and begins to play the role of a wide flat belly for lying on the ground, while maintaining the function of the second pectoral fin and gill cover. In reversible, less common forms (river flounder), the process of change occurs in the opposite direction. from right to left.
To survive, the flounder has developed a powerful mechanism for mimicking its environment. Thanks to mimicry, she skillfully disguises herself against any complex background, not inferior in this skill to a chameleon.
In one experiment, zoologists placed a substrate in a black and white cage in an aquarium. Very soon, clear dark and light spots appeared on the body of the fish.
Sea bottom fish growing up to half a meter. The minimum commercial size is 21 cm. Appearance features. arched diluted lateral line, milky color of the blind side, brown or wheat-brown color of the eye side. There are two subspecies:
- Southern white-bellied flounder (Lepidopsetta bilineata mochigarei). lives in the coastal zone of Primorye and the Sea of Japan.
- North (Lepidopsetta bilineata bilineata). in the waters of the Kamchatka, Okhotsk and Bering seas. Both make up large populations in Peter the Great Bay (south of Primorsky Krai) and the Tatar Strait, separating Sakhalin from the mainland.
Dozens of flat fish species live in the salty environment, which thrive both on the shallow coastal shelf and at depths of several kilometers. They are characterized by a wide variation in size, body shape, fin color, sighted and blind sides.
The spawning time for each taxon is different and depends on the region, the timing of the onset of spring, the rate of water warming (up to 2-5 ° C). The general breeding season for most species is between February and May. But there are exceptions. turbot (large rhombus) goes to spawn in the Baltic and North Seas in April-August, and polar flounder spawns in the ice-covered Kara and Barents seas in December-January.
Puberty occurs at 3-7 years of age. Females are characterized by high fertility; one clutch can contain 0.5-2 million pelagic eggs with an incubation period of 11-14 days. Deep (7-15 m) coastal areas with a sandy bottom are chosen as spawning grounds, although the flounder successfully spawns at a depth of 50 m due to the high buoyancy of the clutch and the absence of the need to attach it to a solid substrate. The swam fry has a classic vertical shape with symmetrically developed sides. Zooplankton and small benthos act as a nutritious food base.
The scientific name of the species is European salt (Solea solea). The heat-loving fish belongs to its own genus Soleidae and lives in the eastern Atlantic, Red, Mediterranean, South China, Baltic and Black seas. It grows up to 65-70 cm with a weight of 2.5-3.0 kg. It has the status of a world delicacy due to its tender, tasty and juicy meat with a minimum of bones. The European Solea is characterized by an elongated leaf-shaped body, which is complemented by an asymmetrical head with an oblique mouth and a right eye position. The sighted side is pale brown with many dark spots and covered with small scales.
Under the trade name “sole” dishonest sellers often sell not only fillets of less valuable flounder fish, but even pangasian catfish, which are generally representatives of freshwater fish fauna.