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Platichthys flesus 1.jpg

Flounder ( Platichthys flesus )

Order : Carangiformes
Partial order : Flatfish (Pleuronectoideo)
Family : Plaice (Pleuronectidae)
Genre : Platichthys
Type : flounder
Scientific name
Platichthys flesus
( Linnaeus , 1758)

The flounder ( Platichthys flesus ) is a flatfish native to the coastal waters of Europe. It lives in the White Sea , along the coast of Norway , in the North and Baltic Seas , around the British Isles , in the Bay of Biscay , on the coast of the Iberian Peninsula and along the northern Mediterranean coast to the Aegean Sea . It is also found in the Black Sea and on the Atlantic coast of Morocco . The flounder prefers brackish water , but can also tolerate salt and fresh water. She prefers to stay at estuaries as well as in fjords , fjords and bays. Some specimens migrate far up the rivers.

The name flounder was borrowed from the Danish ( flynder ) via Low German . By anglers and in the vernacular, the flounder, a popular is food fish , similar to other flatfish often than Butt names such as Elbbutt or Weser Butt ; but it is not one of the butterflies in the scientific sense.

From 1979 the flounder was released in the Aral Sea . The species was able to establish itself in this inland lake and, even after a large part of the basin has dried up, is one of the most important commercial fish in the Northern Aral Sea .

In Germany it was named Fish of the Year 2017.


The flounder has a streamlined, oval, asymmetrical, laterally strongly flattened body. The body width is less than half the body length. In most flounder the eyes are on the right side of the body, but in a third of the specimens on the left. Flounders reach a maximum length of 50 centimeters. Normal sizes are 25-30 cm and weigh about 300 g. The relatively small mouth does not reach under the eye. Bony cusps lie along the lateral line organ and rough, nodular scales along the base of the dorsal and anal fin . The flounder often has pale, reddish spots on the top, similar to the plaice .

Fin formula : dorsal 53–62, anal 37–46

Way of life

Flounders live on sandy and muddy coasts at depths of up to 100 meters. During the day they often dig themselves superficially into the sand, only the eyes then look out. At night they look for food. They feed on woodlice , amphipods, molluscs and bristle worms . The freshwater population mainly eats mosquitoes and caddis fly larvae .


Flounders migrate into the sea to spawn . Flounders spawn in the southern and southeastern North Sea from February to May, off the coast of northern Norway and the Kola Peninsula from April to June. A female lays up to 2 million eggs that are 0.8–1.4 mm in diameter. The eggs are larger in brackish water. At a water temperature of 10 ° C, the larvae hatch after about a week. They are then about 3 mm long and initially live pelagic . With a length of 7-10 mm, the metamorphosis begins and the eye of the future blind side moves to the top. During this time, many flounder larvae migrate from the sea with the help of the tidal currents up the rivers, such as the Elbe. The salt content plays an extremely important role here. Young flounders initially eat tiny crustaceans such as ostracods and copepods .


Flounders are caught as food fish using trawls , fish traps and gill nets .

Hazardous situation

The International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN currently assesses the flounder in the Red List of Endangered Species as LC IUCN 3 1st svg(= least concern - not endangered). It is a widespread species for which no significant threats are known.


  • Bent J. Muus, Jørgen G. Nielsen: The marine fish of Europe in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Atlantic. Kosmos, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-440-07804-3 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Flounder  - explanations of meanings, origin of words, synonyms, translations
Commons : Flounder  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Albrecht Plewnia: language contact. Influences of other languages ​​on German . In: Hans-Jürgen Krumm u. a. (Ed.), German as a Foreign and Second Language. An international handbook , Vol. 1, Berlin 2010, pp. 439–447, p. 442.
  2. ^ LP Pavlovskaya: Fishery in the lower Amu-Darya under the impact of irrigated agriculture , accessed October 8, 2016
  3. ^ Bos, Arthur R .: Tidal transport of flounder larvae ( P. flesus ) in the River Elbe, Germany . In: Archive of Fishery and Marine Research . 47, No. 1, 1999, pp. 47-60.
  4. Bos, Arthur R .: Aspects of the life history of the European flounder ( P. flesus L. 1758) in the tidal River Elbe (with a German summary). Dissertation.de - Verlag im Internet GmbH. Berlin. 129 pp. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: Winter Industries GmbH . 2000. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.dissertation.de
  5. Bos, Arthur R. and Ralf Thiel: Influence of salinity on the migration of post-larval and juvenile European flounder ( P. flesus L.) in a gradient experiment . In: Journal of Fish Biology . 68, No. 5, 2006, pp. 1411-1420.
  6. Platichthys flesus in the endangered Red List species the IUCN 2009 Posted by: J. Freyhof and M. Kottelat, 2008. Accessed on March 6 of 2010.