Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Pleuronectiformes
(Flatfishes) > Soleidae
Etymology: Solea: Latin, solea = sandal (shoe); refered to the flat shape of the fish (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 150 m (Ref. 35388), usually 10 - 60 m (Ref. 6302). Subtropical; 8°C - 24°C (Ref. 4944); 67°N - 17°N, 17°W - 37°E (Ref. 54889)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 30.3  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 70.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4710); common length : 35.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5504); max. published weight: 3.0 kg (Ref. 5504); max. reported age: 26 years (Ref. 32766)
soft rays: 61 - 74. Body oval, head rounded. Upper eye less than its own diameter from dorsal profile of head. Anterior nostril on blind side not enlarged. Dorsal fin beginning on upper profile of head. Eye side grayish-brown to reddish brown, with large and diffuse dark spots. Pectoral fin on eye side with a blackish blotch at posterior end of fin. Hind part of caudal fin generally darker than rest.
Eastern Atlantic: southward from Trondheim Fjord (including North Sea and western Baltic) and Mediterranean Sea (including Sea of Marmara, Bosporus and southwestern Black Sea). Elsewhere, southward to Senegal, including Cape Verde (Ref. 5304).
Adults occur at a temperature range of 8.0-24.0°C (Ref. 4944). Usually solitary. They burrow into sandy and muddy bottoms. Retreat to deeper water during winter (Ref. 9988). Juveniles are found during the first 2 to 3 years in coastal nurseries (bays and nurseries) before migrating to deeper waters (Ref. 92286). Adults feed on worms, mollusks and small crustaceans at night. Waden sea is the most important nursery area. Batch spawner (Ref. 51846). Recruitment is very variable. Frequently found pelagically during spawning migrations (Ref. 35388). Marketed fresh and frozen; utilized steamed, fried, broiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988). The Hastings Fleet Dover Sole fishery of this species has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org/) as well-managed and sustainable (http://www.msc.org/html/content_1216.htm).
Spawning takes place in shallow coastal waters at temperatures of 6 - 12°C. Reproduction starts after 3-5 years of age, when 25-30cm size is reached. Spawning happens mainly during the months of February-May (for example, off the coasts of Galicia), although in warmer areas
(such as the Mediterranean), it can occur at the beginning of the winter. Incubation lasts about 5 days (at 1 2°) and larval phase 35 days (at 18°C).
Desoutter, M., 1992. Soleidae. p. 860-865. In C. Levêque, D. Paugy, and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres d'Afrique de l'Ouest Tome 2. Faune Tropicale n° 28. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgique and O.R.S.T.O.M., Paris, France, 902. (Ref. 7395)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5020 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00759 (0.00621 - 0.00926), b=3.06 (3.00 - 3.12), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.21-0.33; tm=3-5; tmax=26; Fec=100,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .