Scientific name: Platichthys flesus ((Linnaeus, 1758))
Family: Pleuronecticae
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Class: Actinopterygii
Irish name: Dúleatha
Irish angling record: 2.227kg (1993, Ballyteigue, Co. Wexford)
Native species: Yes
Hybrids: No

Identifying features

Eyes and colour normally on the right side, but "reversed" examples are commoner amongst flounders than amongst other flat fishes; conspicuous enlarged, rough, hard scales on head ridge, anterior part of lateral line and along bases of dorsal and anal fins on the eyed side; dark brown to greenish-grey, sometimes with vague orange spots, blind side uniform opaque white4.

Environment and Habitat

Adults are typically recorded in marine environment; will inhabit sea or lake bottom; live in freshwater and breed in the ocean (catadromous)1; often found in parts of rivers and lakes linked to the sea, habitat extends into freshwater conditions; inhabits sandy, muddy bottoms2;

European distribution

From Western Europe to the Black Sea; 72°N - 30°N, 32°W - 45°E; Widespread around Irish coast, particularly estuaries.

Economic value in Ireland

Commercial value; one of the most important species for the shore angler in Ireland. Can be found in most Irish coastal and transitional waters.

Red list status

Least concern.

Irish legislation status


EU legislation status