Southern flounder

Paralichthys lethostigma

Family Paralichthyidae - flounders

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body oval, almost football-shaped, flattened laterally; both eyes on left side of body (left-eyed); color brown sometimes with light and dark blotches but no distinct spots, white underneath (right side); high arch in anterior lateral line just behind head; forehead flat; eyes far apart; mouth oblique, large, upper jaw reaching to behind eye.
Similar Species
Gulf and ocellated flounders both have high arch in lateral line like the southern flounder, but both have distinct spots; southern has no distinct spots; only Gulf flounder gets near the size of the southern flounder.
Habitat
Gulf and bay, prefers sandy or muddy bottoms
Maximum Size
83 cm (32 1/2 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. 80-95; A. 63-74 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
Largest growing flounder in the Gulf of Mexico. Popular in the commercial and sport fisheries. Can tolerate freshwater.
State size/bag limits
Minimum size is 14 in.; bag limit is 5, except in November and the 1st 2 weeks in December where the bag and possession limit is 2 (bag limit includes all species of flounders), pole and line only in November, any legal means in December.; Check for state record.