With a vast variety of fish in the oceans, it is always a curiosity among fishermen regarding what they will catch next. Though the majority of fish are easy to recognize, fish from two distantly related flounder families may cause confusion. They are the fluke and flounder, both of which look similar at a glance. AnimalSake gives you a few pointers that will help you differentiate between a fluke fish and flounder.
Did You Know?
Flatfish are born with an eye on each side of their head. However, as they grow, one eye travels or migrates towards the other side of the head, towards the other eye. Whoa! Now, that’s something!
The above metamorphosis had baffled Charles Darwin too. He called the transformation as “remarkable peculiarity.” However, such a transformation is known as a unique feature of flatfishes. As these types of fish lie low on their side at the bottom of the oceans, such an eye position helps them target a prey. Both flukes and flounders share this unequaled ability, but with a slight difference.
Both flukes and flounders are bottom-dwelling flatfish found in the Atlantic Ocean. They lie low on the ocean’s undersurface and blend with their environment. Their camouflage helps them to take their prey by surprise and hunt it down.
Their mild taste in a delicacy is a joy for chefs as both fish are easy to cook and go along with several fish recipes. Both are easier to catch; therefore, they are a delight to people who love fishing as an activity. These distantly related species look the same with their dark colors with spots and their eyes on one side. So, how do we differentiate between the two species? Here is a chart that will mark the differences between a fluke and flounder.
Fluke Vs. Flounder
Commonly Known As
➥ Summer Flounder, Left Eye Fish
➥ Winter Flounder, Right Eye Fish
➥ Paralichthys dentatus
➥ Pseudopleuronectes americanus
➥ Western Atlantic Ocean
➥ Western North Atlantic Ocean
➥ Average of 20 years
➥ Average of 12-14 years
➥ On the left side of the body
➥ On the right side of the body
➥ 15 – 20 inches
➥ 4 – 24 inches
➥ 2 – 20 pounds
➥ 1.5 – 5 pounds
Mouth and Teeth Structure
➥ Large mouth with exposed large teeth
➥ Small mouth with no teeth
➥ Carnivores: feed on shrimp, winter flounders, blue crabs, silversides, squid, blue fish, etc.
➥ Carnivores: feed on shrimp, sand worms, amphipods, and other smaller fish.
➥ Summer (May – September)
➥ Winter (April – May)
➥ Mild and sometimes muddy
➥ Mild, delicate, and sweet
Keeping these few pointers in mind, fisherman can easily differentiate between flukes and flounders. Fishers can easily guess their catch by checking on which side the eyes of fish have migrated. To be more sure, checking the size of the fish’s mouth helps.
In the end, it all comes down to the fun experience of fishing. The favorite dish made by using a fresh catch will be like a cherry on the top!