Speckled Sanddab
Citharichthys stigmaeus

Physical Description

  • A species of flounder, with a flat body and eyes on one side of its head
  • Dull brown or tan color on back with tiny black spots, with a white or pale brown belly. Males are often mottled with orange spots, while the females are not.
  • Most are 4-5 inches long, can be up to 6.5 inches long

Range

  • From Prince William Sound, Gulf of Alaska to Baja California, Mexico
  • Gulf of California, Mexico

Habitat

  • The ocean floor on sandy or muddy bottoms
  • Generally in shallow waters, can be in depths of up to 1200 feet

Diet

  • Wide variety of crustaceans and small fish 

Predators

  • Larger fish, birds and marine mammals
  • People eat them, but it is of little commercial importance due to its diminutive size

Interesting Facts

  • Like all flounders, the speckled sanddab has both eyes on one side of its head! They are always on the left side of their head. 
  • Sanddabs can change colors to camouflage to match their surroundings

Sources: Pierfishing.com; FishBase; Mexican-Fish.com

Photo: David R. Andrew

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