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Tongue Soles

Compiler and date details

Douglass F. Hoese & Dianne J. Bray


Members of the Cynoglossidae occur in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Currently, three genera and around 127 species are recognised (Nelson 2006); all these genera and 16 species are known from Australia.

Tongue soles live over soft bottoms from coastal regions to offshore environments to 2000 m. The maximum size is 45 cm in length.

Chapleau (1988) established monophyly of the family and discussed relationships and Chapleau (1993) presented a phylogeny of all flatfishes. Menon (1977) studied species of Cynoglossus, but additional species have been recognised in recent years. Menon (1980) revised Paraplagusia and additional species of Paraplagusia were described by Chapleau & Renaud (1993) and Chapleau et al. (1991). Munroe (1992) and Munroe & Marsh (1997) discussed Symphurus and Munroe (2001) treated some species known from tropical Australia.

Tom Munroe kindly provided advice regarding this family.


General References

Chapleau, F. 1988. Comparative osteology and intergeneric relationships of the tongue soles (Pisces; Pleuronectiformes; Cynoglossidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 66: 1214-1232

Chapleau, F. 1993. Pleuronectiform relationships: a cladistic reassessment. Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 516-540 figs 1-7

Chapleau, F., Renaud, C.B. & Kailola, P.J. 1991. Paraplagusia longirostris, a new flatfish (Cynoglossidae) from Australia and Papua New Guinea. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 38(3): 239-244 figs 1-3

Chapleau, F. & Renaud, C.B. 1993. Paraplagusia sinerama (Pleuronectiformes: Cynoglossidae), a new Indo-Pacific tongue sole with a revised key to species of the genus. Copeia 1993(3): 798-807 figs 1-4

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Cynoglossidae. pp. 865-866, fig. 766 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. [856]

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Cynoglossidae. pp. 821 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. [821]

Hoese, D.F. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Cynoglossidae. pp. 1853-1858 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. [1853]

Menon, A.G.K. 1977. A systematic monograph of the tongue soles of the genus Cynoglossus Hamilton-Buchanan (Pisces : Cynoglossidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 238: 1-129 figs 1-48 pls 1-28

Menon, A.G.K. 1980. A revision of the fringed-lip tongue soles of the genus Paraplagusia Bleeker, 1865 (Family Cynoglossidae). Matsya 5: 11-22 figs 1-2 [dated 1979]

Munroe, T.A. 1992. Interdigitation pattern of dorsal-fin pterygiophores and neural spines, an important diagnostic character for symphurine tonguefishes (Symphurus: Cynoglossidae: Pleuronectiformes). Bulletin of Marine Science 50(3): 357-403

Munroe, T.A. 2001. Soleidae, Cynoglossidae. pp. 3878-3901 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Munroe, T.A. & Marsh, B.N. 1997. Taxonomic status of three nominal species of Indo-Pacific symphurine tonguefishes (Symphurus: Cynoglossidae: Perciformes). Ichthyological Research 44(2): 189-200 figs 1-3

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
08-Jul-2015 PLEURONECTOIDEI 20-Feb-2012 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)