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Glyptocephalus cynoglossus:   (click for more)

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  • Pleuronectes cynoglossus  (non Linnaeus) Fabricius, 1780: 163.
  • Pleuronectes saxicola  Faber, 1828: 244.
  • Pleuronectes nigromanus  Nilsson, 1829: 401.
  • Glyptocephalus saxicola  Gottsche, 1835: 156.
  • Platessa pola  Jenyns, 1835: 458.
  • Platessa elongata  Yarrell, 1839: 33.
    FAO Names
    En - Witch flounder, Fr - Plie cynoglosse, Sp - Mendo.
    3Alpha Code: WIT     Taxonomic Code: 1830201102
    Diagnostic Features
    Body elongate, 2.5 to 3.5 times in standard length. Blister-like cavities on the underside of the head. Mout small, reaching anterior edge of lower eye. Lateral line straight;  scales 110-140.  First interhaemal spine projecting in front of anal fin, sometimes very small and hidden in the skin.. Dorsal finrays 95 to 120. Anal finrays 85 to 102. Pectoral fin of eyed side shorter than head.  Colour brownish or greyish-brown; body and fins thickly speckled with minute black dots; median fins more or less dusky towards their margins, distal part of pectoral fin blackish. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Eastern Atlantic, from northern Spain (Bay of Biscay) to northern Norway, also Iceland. Elsewhere, western Atlantic southwards to Cape Cod.
    Habitat and Biology
    Benthic, on soft bottoms in fairly deep water,most often between 45 and 1460 m, predominant from 184 to 366 m deepand prefers temperatures of 2-6º C.  Feeds mainly on crustaceans, worms and brittlestars.
    Spawns between May and September.  Its growth is rather slow, sexual maturity is attained in 3 to 4 years, and the witch may live for 14 years.
    To about 62 cm, seldom more than 35-40 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    It is of some importance as a food-fish in northern European waters, especially off Iceland, Faroe, Norway, and Sweden. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 18 969 t. The countries with the largest catches were (4 148 t) and UK (3 661 t). Caught with bottom trawls. The most common fishing techniques are "demersal bottom trawling" and "small flatfish (flounders, soles) bottom trawling".
    Marketed fresh or frozen; eaten steamed, fried, microwaved and baked.
    Local Names
    Danish : Skaerising .
    Dutch : Hondstong ,  Witje .
    English : Craig fluke ,  Gray sole ,  Witch ,  Witch flounder .
    Finnish : Mustaeväkampela .
    German : Hundszunge ,  Rotzunge .
    Icelandic : Langlúra .
    Italian : Passera lingua di cane .
    Norwegian : Mareflyndre ,  Sm_rflyndre .
    Polish : Szkarlacica .
    Portuguese : Solhao .
    Spanish : Mendo ,  Falso lenguado .
    Swedish : Rödtunga .
    Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2003. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org
    Muus, B.J. & P. Dahlström. - 1971. Guia de los peces de mar. Pesca, Biología, Importancia económica. Ed. Omega, S.A. Barcelona. 259 pp.
    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. - 1934A 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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