Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty
The Elongate Flounder is a rare visitor to the underwater observatory, but with very careful observation may be seen camouflaged amongst the silt on the ledge around the base of the observatory.
The Elongate Flounder is from the family Pleuronectidae which consists of the “right-eyed flounders”. Nearly half of the 100 species known to exist in this family are found in Japan, with just eight species known from temperate Australian waters. Being right-eyed means that the eyes are located on the right side of the body and the left side of the body lacks any pigmentation and remains permanently underneath. During development the left eye migrates through the head to the right side of the body. The Elongate Flounder is a small species, growing to 22 centimetres, and has a narrow body shape with a pale upper surface with gold and bluish-black speckles closely resembling the shelly substrate on which it resides. The pigmented right side of the body is capable of changing colour in order to blend in with the sandy bottom. The snout forms a hook-like protrusion in front of the small oblique mouth and the body is covered in firmly attached, minute scales. Their dorsal and anal fins are long and continuous, with the dorsal fin extending onto the head.
The Elongate Flounder are a benthic species found on moderately exposed sand at depths of 0 to 20 metres and feed actively at night on a variety of benthic invertebrates and fishes. They are found to exist from Geraldton, WA to eastern Victoria and Tasmania.