Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found inshore, often in very shallow water and in estuaries during the summer; moving into deeper water in the winter (Ref. 27547). However, they may occur in deep water throughout the year (Ref. 27547). Does not venture into water of high salinities (Ref. 28899). Young and adults move up rivers, as much as 120 km (Ref. 27547). Benthic (Ref. 58426). Feeds on crustaceans, worms, small mollusks, brittle stars, and small fishes (Ref. 6885). Important game fish (Ref. 2850). Utilized fresh and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, boiled, microwaved, and baked (Ref. 9988).
  • Cooper, J.A. and F. Chapleau 1998 Monophyly and intrarelationships of the family Pleuronectidae (Pleuronectiformes), with a revised classification. Fish. Bull. 96(4):686-726. (Ref. 30193)
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Distribution

Range Description

Range includes coastal areas from Santa Ynez River, California, north to Alaska, east along Arctic coast of Canada to Bathurst Inlet, west to Sea of Japan (Lee et al. 1980, Page and Burr 2011).
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range includes coastal areas from Santa Ynez River, California, north to Alaska, east along Arctic coast of Canada to Bathurst Inlet, west to Sea of Japan (Lee et al. 1980, Page and Burr 2011).

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North Pacific: Korea and southern Japan through the Bering Strait and Arctic Alaska (Ref. 2850) to the Coronation Gulf, Northwest Territories, Canada and Santa Barbara, southern California, USA. Hybridizes with Parophrys vetulus - the hybrid, called Inopsetta ischyra, may be found from the Bering Sea to San Francisco, California, USA. Also hybridizes with Kareius bicoloratus (Ref. 27547).
  • Lamb, A. and P. Edgell 1986 Coastal fishes of the Pacific northwest. Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd., B.C., Canada. 224 p. (Ref. 27436)
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North Pacific: Aleutian Islands to California; Japan and Korea.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 52 - 66; Analspines: 1; Analsoft rays: 38 - 47; Vertebrae: 34 - 37
  • Morrow, J.E. 1980 The freshwater fishes of Alaska. University of. B.C. Animal Resources Ecology Library. 248p. (Ref. 27547)
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Size

Length: 95 cm

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Maximum size: 910 mm TL
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Max. size

91.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850)); max. published weight: 9,100 g (Ref. 2850); max. reported age: 24 years (Ref. 28499)
  • Armstrong, R.H. 1996 Alaska's fish. A guide to selected species. Alaska Northwest Books. 94 p. (Ref. 28499)
  • Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann 1983 A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 336 p. (Ref. 2850)
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished by the presence of both eyes on the same side of the head, dorsal and anal fins that are marked with dark and light (white to orange) bars, and especially, by the stellate, bony tubercles scattered over its body (Ref. 27547). Dorsal originates over middle of upper eye; anal with a sharp, forward pointing spine (often buried in skin) before first ray; pectorals are bluntly pointed; caudal slightly rounded (Ref. 27547). Eyed side dark brown to nearly black, sometimes with indefinite blotchings (Alaskans specimens sometimes with a greenish tinge); blind side white to creamy; dorsal fin with 4 to 7 dark bars with white to orange spaces between; anal fin with 4 to 6 such bars; caudal fin with 3 or 4 dark longitudinal bars on its posterior part; in rare cases, the blind side may be partly or completely colored like the eyed side, or white may be present on the eyed side, creating a piebald effect (Ref. 27547, 28897, 28898).
  • Morrow, J.E. 1980 The freshwater fishes of Alaska. University of. B.C. Animal Resources Ecology Library. 248p. (Ref. 27547)
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Ecology

Habitat

Amur River Demersal Habitat

This taxon is one of a number of demersal species in the Amur River system. Demersal river fish are found at the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton

The persistence of mercury contamination in Amur River bottom sediments is a major issue, arising from historic cinnabar mining in the basin and poor waste management practises, especially in the communist Soviet era, where industrial development was placed ahead of sound conservation practises.

The largest native demersal fish species in the Amur River is the 560 centimeter (cm) long kaluga (Huso dauricus); demersal biota are those that inhabit the bottom of a surface water body. Another large demersal fish found in the Amur is the 300 cm Amur sturgeon (Acipenser schrenckii), a taxon which is endemic to the Amur basin.

Other demersal endemic fish species (all in the concubitae family) of the Amur Basin are Iksookimia longicorpa, I. koreensis, I. hugowolfeldi, Cobitis melanoleuca melanoleuca and the Puan spine loach (Iksookimia pumila).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat includes tidal areas with sandy or mud bottoms; typically bays, sounds, river estuaries, but also in ocean waters to depth of 900 feet, and may ascend rivers into fresh water. Usually inshore in summer, may move to deeper waters for winter. Spawns in shallow water. Larvae are pelagic.

Systems
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Habitat includes tidal areas with sandy or mud bottoms; typically bays, sounds, river estuaries, but also in ocean waters to depth of 900 feet, and may ascend rivers into fresh water. Usually inshore in summer, may move to deeper waters for winter. Spawns in shallow water. Larvae are pelagic.

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Environment

demersal; catadromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 375 m (Ref. 6793)
  • Allen, M.J. and G.B. Smith 1988 Atlas and zoogeography of common fishes in the Bering Sea and northeastern Pacific. NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS 66, 151 p. (Ref. 6793)
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Depth range based on 69 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 16 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 360
  Temperature range (°C): 0.703 - 7.611
  Nitrate (umol/L): 3.721 - 37.718
  Salinity (PPS): 30.555 - 33.799
  Oxygen (ml/l): 2.647 - 7.851
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.759 - 3.262
  Silicate (umol/l): 15.409 - 89.836

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 360

Temperature range (°C): 0.703 - 7.611

Nitrate (umol/L): 3.721 - 37.718

Salinity (PPS): 30.555 - 33.799

Oxygen (ml/l): 2.647 - 7.851

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.759 - 3.262

Silicate (umol/l): 15.409 - 89.836
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 375m.
Recorded at 375 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

May move seasonally into and out of fresh water.

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Catadromous. Migrating from freshwater to the sea to spawn, e.g., European eels. Subdivision of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Euryhaline, can exist in freshwater lagoons and river mouths, sometimes moving very far upstream. Occurs mainly in the upper sublittoral zone (Ref. 9013). Found inshore, often in very shallow water and in estuaries during the summer; moving into deeper water in the winter (Ref. 27547). However, they may occur in deep water throughout the year (Ref. 27547). Does not venture into water of high salinities (Ref. 28899). Young and adults move up rivers, as much as 120 km (Ref. 27547). Benthic (Ref. 58426). Feeds on crustaceans, worms, small mollusks, brittle stars, and small fishes (Ref. 6885).
  • Tokranov, A.M. and V.V. Maksimenkov 1994 Feeding of the starry flounder, Platichthys stellatus, in the Bol'shaya River estuary (western Kamchatka). J. Ichthyol. 34(1):76-83. (Ref. 9013)
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Comments: Benthic feeder. In salt/brackish water its diet consists of: crabs, polychaetes, molluscs, amphipods, copepods and other invertebrates. In freshwater may eat insect larvae. Type of food changes with size of fish; large flounder eat fishes.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations) and locations (as defined by IUCN).

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Global Abundance

100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but quite large. This species is common in much of its range.

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General Ecology

Abundant in central portion of its range.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 24 years (wild)
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Reproduction

Males mature in 2nd year at 8.7-10.9"; females mature in 3rd year at 9.4-14.3". Spawns late November-February in California, later farther north; peaks at water temperature of 11 C (Morrow 1980).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Platichthys stellatus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 17 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACACGTTGATTTTTCTCGACCAATCACAAAGACATCGGCACCCTCTATCTCGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGAATAGTGGGGACAGGCCTA---AGTCTACTCATTCGAGCAGAGCTAAGCCAACCTGGGGCTCTCCTGGGGGAC---GACCAAATTTATAACGTAATCGTCACCGCACACGCCTTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATTGGAGGGTTTGGAAACTGACTTATCCCATTAATA---ATTGGGGCCCCCGATATGGCCTTCCCTCGAATAAATAACATGAGCTTCTGACTCCTACCCCCATCCTTCCTGCTTCTCCTGGCCTCTTCAGGTGTTGAAGCCGGGGCGGGAACAGGGTGAACTGTATATCCCCCACTAGCTGGAAACCTAGCACACGCCGGGGCATCCGTAGACCTC---ACAATCTTTTCCCTTCACCTTGCCGGAATTTCATCAATTCTAGGGGCAATCAACTTTATTACCACCATTATCAACATGAAACCAACAGCAGTCACTATGTACCAAATCCCACTGTTTGTTTGGGCCGTACTAATTACCGCCGTTCTTCTTCTCCTTTCCCTTCCGGTCTTAGCCGCT---GGCATTACAATGCTACTAACAGACCGCAACCTGAACACAACCTTCTTTGATCCTGCTGGAGGAGGTGACCCCATCCTCTACCAGCACCTGTTCTGATTCTTTGGCCACCCAGAGGTATACATTTTAATTCTTCCAGGCTTCGGGATAATTTCTCACATTGTTGCATACTATGCAGGTAAGAAA---GAACCCTTTGGCTACATGGGCATGGTCTGAGCTATGATGGCTATTGGACTCCTGGGCTTCATCGTATGGGCCCATCACATGTTTACAGTCGGAATAGACGTAGACACACGAGCTTACTTTACCTCAGCCACAATAATTATTGCCATCCCAACCGGCGTAAAAGTCTTTAGCTGACTC---GCAACC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Platichthys stellatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 13
Specimens with Barcodes: 19
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
NatureServe

Reviewer/s
Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations and locations, and large population size, and because the species probably is not declining fast enough to qualify for any of the threatened categories.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Population

Population
This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations) and locations (as defined by IUCN).

Total adult population size is unknown but quite large. This species is common in much of its range.

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but probably relatively stable or slowly declining.

Population Trend
Stable
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but probably relatively stable or slowly declining.

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Threats

Major Threats
No major threats have been identified.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Comments: No major threats have been identified.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research actions.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
  • Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann 1983 A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 336 p. (Ref. 2850)
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Wikipedia

Starry flounder

The starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus) is a common flatfish found around the margins of the North Pacific.

The distinctive features of the starry flounder include the combination of black and white-to-orange bar on the dorsal and anal fins, as well as the skin covered with scales modified into tiny star-shaped plates or tubercles (thus both the common name and species epithet), resulting in a rough feel. The eyed side is black to dark brown, while the lower side is white or cream-colored. Although classed as "righteye flounders," individuals may have their eyes on either the right or left side. They have been recorded at up to 91 cm and 9 kg.

Starry flounders are inshore fish, ranging up estuaries well into the freshwater zone, to the first riffles, with young found as much as 120 km inland. In marine environments, they occur as deep as 375 m. They glide over the bottom by rippling their dorsal and anal fins, feeding on a variety of benthic invertebrates. Larvae start out consuming planktonic algae and crustaceans, then as they metamorphose they shift to larger prey.

Like all flounders, when they are young, starry flounders swim around like normal fish in a vertical position, but soon they begin to tilt to one side as they swim and eventually live lying on the sandy floor. As well as many other changes in body structure, the migration of one of the eyes to the other side of the head is one of the most crucial changes. Other changes include the loss of dark color on the under side.

On the western side of the Pacific they occur as far south as Japan and Korea, ranging through the Aleutian Islands, the coast of Alaska, Canada, and down the West Coast of the U.S. as far as the mouth of the Santa Ynez River in Santa Barbara County, California. They are an important game and food fish across their range.

References[edit]

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