© Johan Boshoff

Common family name



Left-eyed flounders

Scientific name



Flounders measure 40 cm on average but can be up to 1.5 m in length.


Flounders have flattened bodies and both of their eyes are on one side – usually the left. The Pectoral fin is elongated, and the dorsal and anal fins are not continuous with the caudal fin. They can change their body colour to camouflage with their surroundings and are usually light in colour marked with darker, or sometimes blue, spots.

General Info

Flounders belong to the Bothidae family which comprises of 13 genera and 116 species. They are born with an eye located on either side of the head, but the right eye moves to the left once the fish has settled on the substrate. They are bottom-dwelling, hiding under the sand to attack their prey by surprise. They are differentiated from sole by their large pectoral fins and prominent spots.


Flounders are bottom feeders, eating small invertebrates and fish.


They can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans across the world.

Common Species

Leopard flounder - Bothus pantherinus
Peacock flounder - Bothus mancus

© Johan Boshoff