Common name: European flounder
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Wheeler (1969); Maitland (1977); Wheeler (1978).
Size: 50 cm.
Native Range: Marine; can penetrate freshwater. This species is native to the northeast Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea (Robins et al. 1991b).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Platichthys flesus are found here.
Table last updated 10/4/2018
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: Primarily inhabits sandy or muddy areas in nearshore coastal and estuarine habitats. Feeds primarily on amphipods, copepods, ostracods, mysids, polychates, crustaceans, bivalves, and small fishes (Summers 1979; Aarnio et al. 1996).
Means of Introduction: Possibly introduced in ballast water from trans-Atlantic vessels (Emery and Teleki 1978; Crossman 1984).
Status: Reported from the Great Lakes near Ohio and Michigan.
Impact of Introduction: Unknown. The stomach contents of one of the specimens taken from Lake Erie included shells of a freshwater clam (Pisidium sp.) (Emery and Teleki 1978).
References: (click for full references)
Aarnio, K., E. Bonsdorff, and N. Rosenback. 1996. Food and feeding habits of juvenile flounder Platichthys flesus
(L.), and turbot Scophthalmus maximus
L. in the Åland archipelago, northern Baltic Sea. Journal of Sea Research 36:311-320.
Courtenay, W. R., Jr., D. P. Jennings, and J. D. Williams. 1991. Appendix 2: exotic fishes. Pages 97-107 in Robins, C. R., R. M. Bailey, C. E. Bond, J. R. Brooker, E. A. Lachner, R. N. Lea, and W. B. Scott. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada, 5th edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 20. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.
Crossman, E. J. 1984. Introductions of Exotic Fishes into Canada. Pages 78-101 in W. R. Courtenay, Jr., and J. R. Stauffer, Jr., editors. Distribution, Biology, and Management of Exotic Fishes. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
Cudmore-Vokey, B. and E.J. Crossman. 2000. Checklists of the fish fauna of the Laurentian Great Lakes and their connecting channels. Can. MS Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2500: v + 39p.
Emery, A. R., and G. Teleki. 1978. European founder (Platyichthys flesus) captured in Lake Erie, Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist 92(1):89-91.
Maitland, P. S. 1977. The Hamlyn guide to freshwater fishes of Britain and Europe. Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, New York, NY.
Summers, R.W. 1979. Life cycle and population ecology of the flounder Platichthys flesus (L.) in the Ythan estuary, Scotland. Journal of Natural History 13:703-723.
Wheeler, A. 1978. Key to the fishes of northern Europe. Frederick Warne Ltd., London, England.
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson
Revision Date: 5/8/2019
Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2019, Platichthys flesus (Linnaeus, 1758): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=841, Revision Date: 5/8/2019, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 8/17/2019
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.