Platichthys stellatus, Starry flounder : fisheries, gamefish

Platichthys stellatus (Pallas 1787)

Starry flounder
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Platichthys stellatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Platichthys stellatus (Starry flounder)
Platichthys stellatus
Picture by Archipelago Marine Research Ltd.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Pleuronectiformes (Flatfishes) > Pleuronectidae (Righteye flounders) > Pleuronectinae
Etymology: Platichthys: Greek, platys = flat + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335).  More on author: Pallas.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; catadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 375 m (Ref. 6793).   Polar; 73°N - 33°N, 124°E - 119°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

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.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 35 - ? cm
Max length : 91.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850); common length : 57.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 9.1 kg (Ref. 2850); max. reported age: 24 years (Ref. 28499)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 52-66; Anal spines: 1; Anal soft rays: 38 - 47; Vertebrae: 34 - 37. 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).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

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).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Amaoka, Kunio | Collaborators

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)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 06 August 2012

CITES (Ref. 123416)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
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Swim. type
Gill area


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Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 0.2 - 8.3, mean 3.2 °C (based on 669 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00851 (0.00547 - 0.01325), b=3.09 (2.96 - 3.22), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.1 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 5.7 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2-3; tmax=24).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (51 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.