Common name: New Zealand Sand Flounder.
Scientific Name: Rhombosolea plebeia.
Conservation status: Least concern.
Habitat: Waters around New Zealand, in shallow waters and up to depths of 50m.
Size: Around 25 – 35cm in length.
Diet: Carnivorous, eats crustaceans, fish spawn and small fish.
Lifespan: 3-4 years.
Appearance: White belly with a green-brown upper side, the body being in the shape of a diamond.
Breeding: Maturity is reached at two years old. The number of eggs laid depends upon the size of the female, usually between 100,000 and 500,000. After about a week, the eggs hatch, the eggs having been laid in shallow waters in safe areas, such as a river estuary.
Threats: Man is the main predator, hunting the flounder for food.
Other interesting facts:
- These flounders do not have a swim bladder
- Spawning period depends on the temperature of the water, and therefore geographical location.
- It is a right-eye flounder. It has cartilage around both eyes when around 3 weeks old, but then the cartilage around the left eye is absorbed, the left eye moving closer to the right eye.
- Special pigment cells on its skin allow it to change colour to match it’s surroundings.
- Only leaves the seabed for courtship and spawning activities.