Latin name

Platichthys stellatus

Other names

Flounder, starry, rough jacket, great flounder, california flounder, diamond back, emerywheel, emery flounder, grindstone, sandpaper flounder, numagarei


The starry flounder belongs to the right-eyed flounder family, but can also be left-eyed. The head is pointed, and the mouth is small. The anal spine is strong. The caudal fin is square or slightly rounded. Coloration from olive to dark brown or nearly black on the upper side and creamy white on the blind side. The unpaired fins, their distinctive feature, are white to yellow or orange with black stripes. Scattered along the eye side of the body are patches of coarse, shiny, star-like scales, which gave rise to its name.


The starry flounder is found from central California to Alaska, south from the Bering Sea to Japan and Korea. It is one of the most abundant fish of the backwaters of central Northern California, especially in San Francisco Bay.


Usually lives near shore on muddy, sandy or gravelly bottoms. Often entering brackish or fresh water, it is most abundant in shallow water, but can be found in depths of at least 900 feet. Juveniles are sometimes found in the tidal zone.


The average size is 12-14 inches, although it can grow to 3 feet and 20 pounds. Females grow faster than males and reach larger sizes.

Life history and Behavior

Spawning occurs in the late winter and the early spring in California waters less than 25 fathoms deep.

Food and feeding habits

Adult starry flounder consume a variety of items, including crabs, clams, shrimp, and sand dollars. Large individuals also eat some fish, such as sardines, sanddabs, and surfperch.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Pleuronectiformes
Family Pleuronectyidae
Genus Platichthys
Species P. stellatus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 9
Maximum length, cm 91
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Bentophage

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Flounder, Starry

Tags: Flounder, Starry