Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits soft mud bottoms in fairly deep water (Ref. 9988). Benthic (Ref. 58426). Feeds on crustaceans, polychaetes, brittle stars (Ref. 9988) and fishes (Ref. 58426). Marketed fresh or frozen; eaten steamed, fried, 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

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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Gulf of St. Lawrence and Grand Banks to North Carolina
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Eastern Atlantic: Northern Spain to northern Norway. Western Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence and Grand Banks in Canada to North Carolina in USA (Ref. 7251).
  • Nielsen, J.G. 1986 Pleuronectidae. p. 1299-1307. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 3. (Ref. 4705)
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Western Baltic Sea, North Sea, North Atlantic.
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Western Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence and Grand Banks in Canada to North Carolina. Eastern Atlantic: from northern Norway to northern Spain.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Cooper, J.A. and F. Chapleau, 1998.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 95 - 120; Analsoft rays: 85 - 102
  • Whitehead, P.J.P., M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) 1986 Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vols. I-III:1473 p. (Ref. 232)
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Size

Maximum size: 600 mm SL
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Max. size

60.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4705)); max. published weight: 2,500 g (Ref. 35388); max. reported age: 25 years (Ref. 6263)
  • Bowering, W.R. and W.B. Brodie 1991 Distribution of commercial flatfishes in the Newfoundland-Labrador region of the Canadian Northwest Atlantic and changes in certain biological parameters since exploitation. Neth. J. Sea Res. 27(3/4):407-422. (Ref. 6263)
  • Muus, B.J. and J.G. Nielsen 1999 Sea fish. Scandinavian Fishing Year Book, Hedehusene, Denmark. 340 p. (Ref. 35388)
  • Nielsen, J.G. 1986 Pleuronectidae. p. 1299-1307. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 3. (Ref. 4705)
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to 60.0 cm SL (male/unsexed); max. weight: 2,500.0 g.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Cooper, J.A. and F. Chapleau, 1998.
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Diagnostic Description

Pectoral fin of eyed side shorter than head. Distal part of pectoral fin blackish (Ref. 232). Large mucus pores on the blind side of the head. Uniform coloration, rough scales. Body elongated with complete straight lateral line (Ref. 35388).
  • Whitehead, P.J.P., M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) 1986 Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vols. I-III:1473 p. (Ref. 232)
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Type Information

Type for Glyptocephalus cynoglossus
Catalog Number: USNM 12685
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Eastport, Me., Maine, United States, Atlantic
  • Type:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Marine

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benthic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Found at depths of 45- 1460 m depth, over soft muddy bottoms.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Environment

demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); marine; depth range 18 - 1570 m (Ref. 5951), usually 45 - 366 m (Ref. 6263)
  • Bowering, W.R. and W.B. Brodie 1991 Distribution of commercial flatfishes in the Newfoundland-Labrador region of the Canadian Northwest Atlantic and changes in certain biological parameters since exploitation. Neth. J. Sea Res. 27(3/4):407-422. (Ref. 6263)
  • 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)
  • Scott, W.B. and M.G. Scott 1988 Atlantic fishes of Canada. Can. Bull. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 219:731 p. (Ref. 5951)
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Depth range based on 49924 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 34735 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -9 - 2869
  Temperature range (°C): -2.072 - 23.867
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.958 - 26.300
  Salinity (PPS): 30.162 - 36.255
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.207 - 7.966
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.195 - 1.829
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 25.595

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -9 - 2869

Temperature range (°C): -2.072 - 23.867

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.958 - 26.300

Salinity (PPS): 30.162 - 36.255

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.207 - 7.966

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.195 - 1.829

Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 25.595
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 45 - 1460m.
From 45 to 1460 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Demersal; marine; depth range 45 - 1460 m. Inhabits muddy bottoms.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Cooper, J.A. and F. Chapleau, 1998.
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Migration

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

Locally Migrant: No. No 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.

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Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. 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

Inhabits soft mud bottoms in fairly deep water (Ref. 9988). Benthic (Ref. 58426). Feeds on crustaceans, polychaetes, brittle stars (Ref. 9988) and fishes (Ref. 58426). It is preyed upon by harp seals. Parasites of the species include 4 protozoans, 11 trematodes, 6 nematodes, 2 acanthocephalans and 1 copepod (Ref. 5951). See also Ref. 9000 for diet composition.
  • Nielsen, J.G. 1986 Pleuronectidae. p. 1299-1307. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 3. (Ref. 4705)
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Feeds on crustaceans, polychaetes and brittle stars.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Cooper, J.A. and F. Chapleau, 1998.
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Associations

Known predators

Glyptocephalus cynoglossus (Witch flounder) is prey of:
Gadidae
Hemitripterus americanus
Leucoraja erinacea
Leucoraja ocellata
Amblyraja radiata
Pleuronectes americanus
Squalus acanthias
Lophius americanus
Pomatomus saltatrix
Chondrichthyes
Homo sapiens

Based on studies in:
USA, Northeastern US contintental shelf (Coastal)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
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Known prey organisms

Glyptocephalus cynoglossus (Witch flounder) preys on:
Crangon
Mysidae
Pandalidae
Decapoda
Gammaridae
Hyperiidae
Caprellidae
Isopoda
Cumacea
Porifera
Cancer
Brachyura
Hydrozoa
Polychaeta
Holothuroidea
Ammodytes marinus
Actinonaias ellipsiformis
Tridonta arctica
Hippoglossina oblonga

Based on studies in:
USA, Northeastern US contintental shelf (Coastal)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • Link J (2002) Does food web theory work for marine ecosystems? Mar Ecol Prog Ser 230:1–9
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

Feeds on crustaceans, polychaetes and brittle stars
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Life Cycle

Eggs and larvae are pelagic.
  • Nielsen, J.G. 1986 Pleuronectidae. p. 1299-1307. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 3. (Ref. 4705)
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Reproduction

Spawns between May and September; eggs and larvae are pelagic.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and W.C. Schroeder, 1953; Cooper, J.A. and F. Chapleau, 1998.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

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


There are 5 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.

ACCCTCTATCTCGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGAATAGTGGGGACAGGCCTG---AGTCTGCTTATTCGGGCAGAGCTAAGCCAACCCGGGGCTCTCCTAGGGGAC---GACCAAATCTATAACGTAATCATAACCGCACACGCCTTTGTAATAATCTTTTTTATGGTAATGCCAATTATGATCGGGGGTTTTGGAAACTGACTTATTCCCTTAATA---ATTGGGGCCCCTGACATAGCCTTTCCTCGGATGAATAATATGAGTTTCTGACTCCTCCCTCCCTCGTTTCTTCTGCTCCTGGCCTCTTCAGGTGTTGAAGCCGGGGCTGGTACGGGGTGAACCGTTTACCCTCCCCTCGCTGGTAATCTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCATCCGTAGACCTA---ACAATCTTCTCGCTTCACCTCGCGGGTATCTCATCAATTCTAGGGGCTATTAACTTTATCACTACCATCATCAACATAAAACCTACAACAGTCACTATGTACCAAATCCCATTATTTGTTTGGGCCGTACTAATCACTGCTGTTCTTCTTCTCCTATCACTGCCTGTCTTAGCCGCT---GGAATTACAATGCTCCTAACAAACCGCACCCTAAACAACCCTTTCTTTGACCCTGCCGGAGGAGGTGACCCCATCCTCTACCAACAT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Glyptocephalus cynoglossus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 24
Specimens with Barcodes: 68
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1992 FAO yearbook 1990. Fishery statistics. Catches and landings. FAO Fish. Ser. (38). FAO Stat. Ser. 70:(105):647 p. (Ref. 4931)
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Wikipedia

Witch (righteye flounder)

The Witch flounder or Torbay sole (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus)[1] is a right-eyed flatfish found in the North Atlantic.[2]

The species lives on soft bottoms between 45 and 1460 m and prefers temperatures of 2–6 °C. It eats mostly crustaceans, worms and brittlestars. It spawns from May to September. It grows to maturity in 3 or 4 years, and may live up to 14 years.

The name Torbay sole appears to be a mainly culinary term,[3] following the habit of renaming certain fish to broaden their appeal.

It is also called grey flounder, witch flounder as well as other local names.

The lefteye flounder Arnoglossus scapha is also known as witch.

References[edit]

  1. ^ RFE Nomenclature by Genus: F-J
  2. ^ oceansatlas.org
  3. ^ Witch | InterSites
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