Zeugopterus punctatus (Bloch, 1787)


Zeugopterus punctatus

Description: Topknots are small, left-eyed flatfish with a broad body and head. The dorsal fin starts just above the mouth and both the dorsal and anal fins are joined to the tail fin. The background colour is beige-pale brown with irregular darker mottling. Running from each eye to the edges of the body is a distinctive dark band and there is a dark blotch behind the pectoral fin. Adult fish can grow to 25cm in length.

Habitat: The topknot is usually found beneath boulders or overhangs in rock on the low shore or on the sides of rock faces in the kelp forest.

Distribution: Widespread around the coasts of Britain and Ireland apart from the east coast of England where its apparent absence may be due to a lack of suitable rocky habitats.

Similar Species: Topknots and lemon sole are the only flatfish that live in rocky habitats however the lemon sole is right-eyed. Zeugopterus punctatus can easily be distinguished from other topknots by the darker band that runs across the eyes and by the shape of its head.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Zeugopterus punctatus (Bloch, 1787). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland.
https://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZG8670 Accessed on 2024-05-30

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