Common Name: Wide-eyed flounder
Scientific Names:Bothus podas
Description: Small individuals of 10-15cm length are found in the shallow waters of Malta. With their flat bodies and brownish speckled colouration, they are masters of camouflage and blend in against the sand on which they lie. A close look will show clusters or rings of white or coloured spots. The eyes are prominent and can operate independently of one another. In males the eyes are extremely far apart.
Distinctive Features: Flatfish species are difficult to distinguish underwater but all have a flat body and two prominent, upward facing eyes.
Abundance: As individual fish. Common at sites with sandy habitat.
Habitat & Behaviour: They are found on sandy seabed from 4m to deeper. They will often follow other species which are actively feeding in the sand (see 20, Feeding groups).
Reaction to Snorkellers & Divers:Wary of surface diving snorkellers and swim away quickly, much less wary of divers.
Other Names: Peacock flounder
Other Notes: This is a ‘left-eyed’ flatfish. Juvenile flatfish have a normal fish shape but lie down on one side as they become adult. This species lies on its right side and has both eyes on the left side.
Text: Bob Earll
Photo: Russell & Gill Bennett
Video: Julia Jagoditsch
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