Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
Discover the incredible species of the Southern Flounder – an amazing fish with an incredible story!
The Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) is a flatfish found in estuarine and nearshore tropical, subtropical and warm temperate waters of the western Atlantic Ocean. It has a diamond-shaped body and large eyes on the left side of its face. It is a member of the righteye flounder family and is prominent in commercial and recreational fishing. It serves as an important food source for humans, as well as being an important predator in the habitat. Its characteristic features and habits make it a valuable resource to consider in the study of aquatic environments.
Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
Southern flounder, scientifically known as Paralichthys lethostigma, is a flatfish native to the Atlantic coast of the United States. This species is widely distributed along the shoreline of the Atlantic, from Massachusetts to Florida. Southern flounder are found in a variety of estuarine and freshwater habitats, including inshore bays, lagoons and rivers. They have a wide range of potential prey items and adapt easily to changing environmental conditions, which makes them a highly sustainable and commercially important species.
Southern flounder have a unique and unmistakable appearance. These fish have both eyes located on one side of their body. As juveniles, they are underdeveloped and found in shallow inshore environments, feeding on small invertebrates such as crabs and worms. As the fish mature, their bodies flatten and both eyes shift to the same side. This side of the body is usually darker, while the opposite side is usually pale. Mature southern flounders are usually gray or brown on the dark side and off-white or yellowish on the pale side.
Southern flounders are highly valued as a seafood source. The fish can reach up to 28 inches long, weighing up to 6.5 lbs. The fish are mostly caught using hook and line in estuarine areas such as seagrass beds and oyster reefs, or in fishing boats along the beaches. The southern flounders are prized for their firm, white flesh that has a mild yet distinctive flavor. They are often roasted, fried, sautéed or used to make fish cakes.
Generally, southern flounder is considered to be a safe species to eat. The fish is low in fat but high in essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and promote healthy cardiovascular function. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rated this species as an excellent source of protein.
Southern flounder are one of the most widely distributed and harvested species in the US. In 2020, the estimated annual harvest of wild southern flounder was 19 million pounds. However, the fish’s populations have been declining in some areas due to overfishing, habitat loss, and climate change. In order to ensure sustainable harvests of this species, fishers should follow catch limits and regulations, as well as release any excess undersized fish.
Southern flounders are also popular with recreational anglers. They are relatively easy to catch, and can be quite hardy and long-lived in captivity. There are some specific rules anglers should follow when catching southern flounder. To ensure the health and sustainability of the species, anglers should follow size, bag and season limits, as well as strict catch-and-release guidelines.
Care and Feeding
Southern flounder are usually not picky eaters and will readily accept a variety of food items. Captive flounders can be fed a variety of high-quality live, frozen, and dried food items. Some of the most commonly used foods include shrimp, worms, fish, squid, and small crustaceans. Feeding should take place in the evening when the activities of the day have slowed down.
Southern flounders are considered to be hardy and do not require special attention when it comes to water quality and parameters. They do, however, require ample oxygen and should not be kept in overcrowded or poorly maintained tanks that have poor water flow. The ideal water temperature for these fish is around 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also important to ensure that the water is of the best quality, as these fish are sensitive to pollutants,chemicals, and sharp objects.
When keeping southern flounders in captivity, it is important to provide them with a large and well-filtered tank. The ideal tank should have a sandy substrate, live rock, and plenty of hiding places. These fish should not be kept in tanks with bright lighting or aggressive tankmates, as they may become stressed or frightened. It is also important to provide plenty of space, as they can reach up to 28 inches in length when fully grown.
Southern flounders are difficult to breed in captivity and are not regularly bred for commercial purposes. If a successful breeding attempt is made, the fry should be separated from their parents as soon as possible, as they may be seen as potential prey. The fry should