PISCES : PLEURONECTIFORMES : PleuronectidaeBONY FISH

Microstomus kitt (Walbaum, 1792)

Lemon Sole


Description: The lemon sole is a right-eyed flatfish which is similar in shape to the dab but has a smoother and more slimy skin and a fleshier body. The head and mouth are very small hence the name Microstomus which is latin for small mouth. The upper surface is mottled red-brown, pink and orange with flecks of yellow and green. Usually there is a large orange blotch behind the pectoral fin. The underside is white. Adult fish can reach a maximum length of 70cm however most are between 20-30cm.

Habitat: Lemon sole are bottom-living fish that live mainly in rocky or stony areas in depths between 5-400m. They feed on small crustaceans, scale-worms and chitons.

Distribution: All around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Similar Species: The lemon sole is similar in shape to the dab but has a smoother, more slimy and more colourful skin. The only other flatfish likely to be encountered on rocky surfaces are the topknots, however these are all left-eyed.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.


 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZG8950

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