dejayM's picture

Tiny Flounder

Observed: 31st July 2013 By: dejayM
Biological Recording In ScotlandHighland Biological Recording GroupOrkney Biodiversity Records Centre
dejayM’s reputation in FishdejayM’s reputation in Fish
in water
face and fin

Immature flat fish; in sandy pools, dashing then hiding.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


nightfly's picture

Lovely fish Derek, can you

Lovely fish Derek, can you explain the step thing to me please? Does it definitively rule out dab? Itd be good to know it for juveniles.

As far as I know the immature flatties that are so common intertidally tend to be flounder as opposed to other species. They certainly are on my local beach because there is a kids angling competition each August and the catch consists of one fish species and one only- flounder. Plaice and Dab are caught in deeper water from adjacent rocks but not by the kids in the thin water tight to the beach.


dejayM's picture


Well maybe (mostly no!). Until today it was just a flat fish!
I took my picture-cue from Collins Complete, which shows the continuous dorsal fin - head to tail, with an apex about two-thirds along (towards the tail) on the flounder

The dab (Limanda limanda) is shown with a break in the continuous line about two thirds along towards the tail and the apex seems to be just over half way.
But, I now see that other reference sources do not show this as clearly - indeed it may not be a diagnostic feature at all!
Surprisingly I am now happy with my ID, yet it was a Dabfish until I unloaded my pictures for posting.
Note however, that I was not SO confident with the ID.
I suspect there are clearer diagnostic features to help us but they are 'long-windedly' described in Hayward & Ryland!
The 'hump' on the lateral line of the dab is clearly diagnostic and if I catch one, THAT is what I'll look for!
Try this -

nightfly's picture

Hi Derek, I see a lot of

Hi Derek,

I see a lot of small flounder shooting out from my feet as I wade the beach fishing. Itd be time well spent to net a good sample and see if there are any other species among them.

Yes the arch in the line on Dab is a great feature but every bit as good is the skin texture. If it is so jaggy it is difficult to stroke from tail to head without your finger getting stuck it is a Dab- toothed scales pointing backwards. Try it out, flounder and plaice are smooth any way you stroke their dorsal area.