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Speckled sanddab

The speckled sanddab (Citharichthys stigmaeus) is a species of flounder in the genus Citharichthys. It is native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, ranging from Alaska in the north to Baja California, Mexico in the south.

It is a much smaller cousin of the Pacific sanddab, growing to a maximum of 17 cm in length. It can be found on the sandy bottom near the shore to as far out as 350 m. It is a dull brown or tan colour, with a white or pale brown underside. Males are often mottled with orange spots.

While the speckled sanddab is technically a game fish, it is of little commercial importance due to its diminutive size, and the larger Pacific sanddab is readily available. The species has a high rate of reproduction, and coupled with the minimal threat from fishing means that it is abundant along the entire North American coast.

The speckled sanddab eats small crustaceans and its predators are fish, birds and marine mammals. The fish can camouflage itself by adapting to look like the surface it is on.

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