Animal Profile: New Zealand Sand Flounder

Common name: New Zealand Sand Flounder.

Scientific Name: Rhombosolea plebeia.

Class: Actinopterygii.

Order: Pleuronectiformes.

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:

  1. These flounders do not have a swim bladder
  2. Spawning period depends on the temperature of the water, and therefore geographical location.
  3. 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.
  4. Special pigment cells on its skin allow it to change colour to match it’s surroundings.
  5. Only leaves the seabed for courtship and spawning activities.

 

Sources:

  • Wikipedia
  • http://www.fishspecies.nz/flounder/

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