Right Handed Flatfishes, Right-eyed Flounders, Righteye Flounders
Compiler and date details
Douglass F. Hoese & Dianne J. Bray
Righteye flounders occur in tropical to cold temperate environments worldwide, with some species found in the Arctic Ocean. The Pleuronectidae, as treated here following Nelson (1994), comprise 33 genera and around 100 species. Seven genera and 16 species are known from Australian waters.
Pleuronectids occur in a variety of soft bottom habitats, such as estuaries, embayments, continental shelf and continental slope. In Australia, they occur in depths of a few metres to over 500 m. Maximum size is 2.8 m in length.
The classification of the group is unresolved. Sakamoto (1984) presented a classification of the family, making several changes to recognised genera, and listed the known species. Although a number of subfamilies (Pleuronectinae, Paralichthodinae, Poecilopsettinae and Rhombosoleinae) are grouped here for convenience, they may not be monophyletic (Chapleau & Keast 1988), and nor are the subfamilial divisions used here. The Pleuronectinae may be more closely related to the Bothidae than the others that are grouped here (Hensley & Ahlstrom 1984; Chapleau 1993). Nelson (2006) recognised three families that had been treated as subfamilies in his 1994 work. According to Nelson (2006) the genera Nematops and Poecilopsetta are placed in the family Poecilopsettidae and the remaining Australian genera are all assigned to the family Rhombosoleidae. This work results in there being no pleuronectid genera, as recognised by Nelson, found in Australia.
Many of the genera found in Australia are in need of revision. Most species in Australia are found in temperate waters, often in the deeper waters of the continental shelf and slope (Gomon 1994). Hensley (2001) treated many of the species from tropical Australia, and Quéro et al. (1988) studied the western Indian Ocean species of Poecilopsetta.
Chapleau, F. 1993. Pleuronectiform relationships: a cladistic reassessment. Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 516-540 figs 1-7
Chapleau, F. & Keast, A. 1988. A phylogenetic reassessment of the monophyletic status of the Family Soleidae, with comments on the suborder Soleoidei (Pisces: Pleuronectiformes). Canadian Journal of Zoology 66: 2797-2810 figs 1-19
Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Pleuronectidae. pp. 851-859, figs 753-760 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.
Hensley, D.A. 2001. Pleuronectidae. pp. 3863-3877 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.
Hensley, D.A. & Ahlstrom, E.H. 1984. Pleuronectiformes: relationships. 670-687 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760
Quéro, J.-C., Hensley, D.A. & Maugé, A.L. 1988. Pleuronectidae de l'île de la Réunion et de Madagascar. I. Poecilopsetta. Cybium 12(4): 321-330
Sakamoto, K. 1984. Interrelationships of the Family Pleuronectidae (Pisces: Pleuronectiformes). Memoirs of the Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University 31(1,2): 95-215 figs 1-51
Common Name References
Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1979. The Fishes of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Aust. Natl. Parks Wldlf. Ser. Spec. Publ. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service 81 pp. 15 pls.  (Right Handed Flatfishes)
Edgar, G.J. 2000. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 544 pp. [Revised]  (Right-eyed Flounders)
Hensley, D.A. 2001. Pleuronectidae. pp. 3863-3877 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.  (Righteye Flounders)