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Brill (Scophthalmus rhombus)

Brill ( Scophthalmus rhombus )

Order : Carangiformes
Partial order : Flatfish (Pleuronectoideo)
Family : Turbot (Scophthalmidae)
Genre : Scophthalmus
Type : Brill
Scientific name
Scophthalmus rhombus
( Linnaeus , 1758)

The brill ( Scophthalmus rhombus ) ( French barbue ), also known as Kleist , is an asymmetrically built flatfish with eyes on the left flank of its body.


Compared to the almost circular turbot ( Psetta maxima ), the brill is oval in shape and reaches a body length of up to 70 centimeters and a weight of up to seven kilograms. Like all flatfish, its sides are strongly flattened and its eyes are both on the left half of the body, while its right side is usually on the bottom of the water. The scales on the side of the eye are smooth, the snout tapering to a point and the mouth above. The sideline is S-shaped.

The basic color of the fish is very variable. The left half of the body (side of the eye) is sand-colored, olive green or dark brown with light and dark spots that allow optimal camouflage on the seabed. The right half of the body (blind side) is white and often has dark spots. The ventral fin and anal fin are separated from each other, the dorsal fin is attached to the head in front of the eyes. It has 63 to 85 rays, the anal fin 42 to 56 and the pectoral fins 10 to 12 each.


The brill lives on the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean , the Mediterranean Sea , the North Sea and the western Baltic Sea to Rügen and the Black Sea . Its distribution area extends in the Atlantic from Iceland and Norway over the entire European coast to Morocco . It lives on silt, sand and scree at depths of around 5 to 70 meters.

Way of life

The brill prey mainly on small fish, crabs and molluscs living on the bottom .

From spring to summer the female, the Rogner , releases her eggs into the open water. These drift pelagically in the sea water due to stored oil droplets . After about two weeks, the symmetrically built, four millimeter long fry hatch and feed on the small crustaceans of the plankton . From a length of two to 3.5 centimeters there is a metamorphosis in which they get their flatfish shape.

The male fish reach sexual maturity from a length of about 25 centimeters, the females from about 30 to 40 centimeters.


The brill is one of three species of the genus Scophthalmus within the turbot (Scophthalmidae).

The brill as an edible fish

The brill is a tasty and valuable food fish that is usually not fished specifically and is therefore mainly landed as bycatch . Around 3,000 tonnes of this species are caught on the European coasts each year.

supporting documents

Individual evidence

  1. ITIS


Web links

Commons : Scophthalmus rhombus  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Glattbutt  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations