Rhomboidal: a row of tubercular asperities along the base of the dorsal and anal fins; lateral line slightly curved, and rough with denticulated scales; rest of the body smooth: teeth blunt.

P. Flesus, Mem. Brit. An. p. 198. Pleuronectes Flesus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 457. Block, Ichth. pl. 44. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. iv. pl. 94. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 96. Passer fluviatilis, Will. Hist.

* Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 339.

Pise. p. 98. tab. F. 5. Flounder, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 229. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 307. Bowd. Brit.fr. wat. Fish. Draw. no. 25. Flet ou Picaud, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 339.

Length

Twelve inches and upwards.

Description

{Form). Resembling the Plaice, but rather more elongated; greatest breadth contained more than twice in the length, fins excluded; body, in the adult fish, thicker. Dorsal and ventral lines equally curved: profile depressed above the eyes: snout rather sharp; mouth small; lower jaw longest, ascending obliquely at an angle of forty-five degrees: teeth small and cutting, the summits obtuse: eyes large, approximating, nearly equally in advance, the lower one a little the most so: immediately behind the eyes, an elevated ridge of minute tubercular asperities passing off to the upper part of the opercle, there to unite with the lateral line, which last takes a slight bend over the pectoral before passing off straight to the extremity of the caudal: greater part of the head rough from the scales being denticulated; region of the lateral line also rough from a band of similar scales extending along its whole length immediately above and below it; there is also a row of tuberculated asperities along the basal margins of the dorsal and anal fins: rest of the body smooth; the scales small, and very adherent: dorsal commencing above the eye, and extending nearly the whole length of the back, as in the Plaice; greatest elevation a little behind the middle, equalling one-third of the depth of the body: anal as in the Plaice; immediately before it a strong sharp spine directed forwards: caudal oblong, slightly rounded at the extremity: pectoral on the right side rather more than half the length of the head; that on the left smaller: ventrals much smaller than the pectorals: number of fin-rays,

D. 61; A. 43; C. 18; P. 10; V. 6.

(Colours). Extremely variable: upper surface generally olivaceous brown, more or less deep; sometimes entirely dusky; occasionally flesh-coloured or yellowish, or with brown spots upon a ground of one of these colours; or with one-half of the body deep brown, the rest pale; more rarely entirely flesh-colour, with scattered spots of a deep rose-red: under side of the body generally whitish, but sometimes nearly as dark as above.

Var. . Pleuronectes Passer, Block, Ichth. pl. 50. Eyes and lateral line on the left side.

Equally common with the last species, and often found in rivers. Very abundant in the Thames, where they are taken in considerable quantities during the spring months. Such generally held in more estimation for the table than those met with in the sea. Has been known to weigh (according to Pennant) six pounds. Spawns in April and May. Obs. The sinistral variety is not very uncommon. The Pleuronectes roseus of Shaw*, and the Platessa carnaria of Brown †, are mere varieties of this species, distinguished by a peculiarity of colouring; the former being of a uniform delicate rose-colour; the latter flesh-red, with irregular, deep, rose-coloured, distant spots.