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Pleuronectes platessa:   (click for more)

Pleuronectes platessa:   (click for more)

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  • Solea platessa  Rafinesque, 1810: 14.
  • Platessa platessa  Cuvier, 1817: 220.
  • Platessa vulgaris  Cloquet, 1826: 403.
  • Platessa borealis  Faber, 1828: 244.
  • Platessa lata  Cuvier, 1829: 339.
  • Pleuronectes latus  Valenciennes, 1836-49: 300.
  • Pleuronectes platessa var. baltica  Nilsson, 1855: 616.
  • Pleuronectes (Platessa) platessa  Danois, 1913: 101.
    FAO Names
    En - European plaice, Fr - Plie d'Europe, Sp - Solla europea.
    3Alpha Code: PLE     Taxonomic Code: 1830200405
    Diagnostic Features
    Body oval, compressed. Upper profile of head distinctly concave. Snout (in adults) longer than eye; lower eye a little in advance of upper. Interorbital ridge low, narrow, naked or with a few embedded scales; a bony prominence in front of lower eye and often a trace of another before upper eye; a row of 4 to 7 irregular bony prominences extending from behin the eyes to commencement of lateral line, their bases sometimes connected by a low keel. Maxillary extending to below anterior part of eye.  6 to 9 gillrakers on lower part of anterior arch.  Scales mostly cycloid, but often more or less spinulate in the male; occasionally a few spinulate scales present in the female; 88 to 115 scales in a longitudinal series above lateral line; 85 to 102 pores in lateral line.  Dorsal fin with 65-79 rays; origin above or a little in front of middle of eye; middle rays frequently with a series of embedded scales on ocular side. Anal fin with 48-59 rays. Pectoral of ocular side with 9 to 13 rays, length 2 to 3 in that of head. Pelvics with 6, occasionally 7 rays. Caudal with 19 to 21 rays, rounded or double-truncate.  Colour brownish or greyish, with large, rounded, red or orange spots, sometimes margined with brown, scattered over the body; a series of similar spots along dorsal and anal fins and frequently 2 or 3 at base of caudal. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Western Mediterranean (occurrences in the eastern Mediterranean doubtful) and along European coasts to White Sea (including Iceland); occasionally off Greenland.
    Habitat and Biology
    Lives on mixed bottoms,from a few metres to about 100 m, the older the deeper the occurrence.Prefers shallow water and small plaice are usually seen on bathing beaches.Occurs at a temperature range of 2-15° C.  Feeds mainly on thin-shelled molluscs and polychaetes.
    Spawns when the temperature is about 6° C. 
    Exceptionally grows to 100 cm in length and weighs 7 kg; more usually around 35-50 cm and 1.1 kg.
    Interest to Fisheries
    The most important flatfish for fisheries in Europe. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 113 581 t. The countries with the largest catches were Netherlands (37 543 t) and Denmark (23 123 t).
    Utilized fresh and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, boiled, microwaved and baked.
    Local Names
    Catalan : Palaia anglesa .
    Danish : Rødspætte .
    Alegre, M., J. Lleonart & J. Veny. - 1992Espècies Pesqueres d'interès comercial. Nomenclatura oficial catalana. Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament de Cultura, DARP, TERMCAT. 64 pp.
    Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2003. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org
    Nielsen, J. - 1986 Pleuronectidae. In: P.J.P. Whitehead et al., (eds.). Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean (FNAM). Unesco, Paris, vol. III: 1299-1307.
    Norman, J. R. - 1934 A systematic monograph of the flatfishes (Heterosomata). Vol. I: London: 459 pp.
    Wheeler, A. - 1978Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe. A guide to the identification of more than 350 species. Frederick Warne (Publishers) Ltd., London. 380 pp.
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