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Deepsea sole fish identification, Habitats, Fishing methods, fish characteristics

The deepsea sole, Embassichthys bathybius, is a rare representative of the family Pleuronectidae. It is a bathy-demersal fish that lives on muddy bottoms at greater depths of between 135 and 5,900 ft (41 and 1,800 m), though it is most often found at depths of 1,600 to 3,120 ft (500 to 950 m). Its native habitat is the northern Pacific, from Japan to the Gulf of Alaska and down the Pacific coasts of Canada and the USA as far south as Mexico. It grows up to 26 in (65 cm) in length and weight about 4 kg), though it is more often came across individuals 35-50 cm and 1,5 kg.
Deepsea-Sole The deepsea sole, Embassichthys bathybius, is a flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae, also known as Deep-sea sole, Shimofurigarei in Japanese, Platija de profundidad in Spanish, Глубоководная Камбала in Russian, distributed from off southern California to southeastern Alaska and from the Bering Sea, pacific coast of the Alaska Peninsula and western part of the Bering Sea and on the Asian coast from Cape Erimo, Hokkaido, Japan up to cape Navarin.

Body oval, very deep and thin with dorsal and ventral thirds very compressed, leather thick with numerous fine scales. The greatest depth at anterior is third of body; head is small, about fifth in length. Upper profile very abruptly angulated opposite with a deep concavity hinder margin of upper pupil, the anterior half of head conspicuously protruding beyond general outline. Caudal fin is nearly sessile, peduncle very short, narrow in depth.
Mouth is oblique, small in size, and asymmetrical, maxillary about 1/5th length of head in specimens 1 foot long, extending to anterior part of lower eye. Lower jaw is slightly projecting beyond tip of upper when mouth is closed. Teeth on both sides of both jaws broad incisors, uniserial, slightly notched at tip, nearly equally developed on blind and colored sides, 21 on blind side of lower jaw, 16 on colored side. As in other members of this group, the lower jaw is the longer, the upper teeth included. Snout pointed at tip and short, shorter than eye diameter. Eyes very large, subequal to a little more than length of upper jaw, the upper entering largely into the upper profile, the lower eye significantly in advance of upper eye, diameter of upper eye around 1/3rd in head. Interorbital space wholly scaled, with a very high, rather sharp shaped ridge. Front margin of upper orbit on vertical of front of lower pupil. Flounder Anatomy
Dorsal beginning over posterior edge of eye; fins low, the highest dorsal rays behind middle of body, 2/5th length of head. Pectoral fins 2 in a head are short, longer on ocular side than that on blind side. Lateral line slightly arched above pectoral fin. Anal fin starting at a vertical line through base of pectoral fin, similar in shape and structure to dorsal. These fins having very long proximal radials. Pelvic fins are equal in size and symmetrical. Caudal fin imperfectly rounded posteriorly, moderate in size, 1/2 in head, inner 14-17 rays branched, other rays simple; ventrals small, each with 5 rays, as in Dover sole, Microstomas pacificus. (Witch flounder, Glyptocephalus cynoglossus and Rex Sole, Glyptocephalus zachirus have 6 rays in each ventral.). All fins scaled at least on their bases. Anterior nostrils of both sides in rather long tubes, the posterior margins produced to form short flaps. Preopercular margins adnata, as usual, concealed by scales. No conspicuous mucous excavations on blind side. Gill rakers weak and rather short, and pointed at tip, not serrate, 10 or 11 on anterior of arch. First gill arch is on right side. Scale on middle part of body are very small, cycloid on both sides of body, in about 165 cross rows, the tubes of lateral line much fewer, not regularly arranged; over 50 longitudinal rows above lateral line.

Key characters

Very thin body on dorsal and ventral thirds, a small head with small mouth and large eyes, numerous small scales, extremely long proximal radials of the dorsal and anal fins, and many light blue spots on the body and fins.
  • 109-117 Dorsal soft rays
  • 9598 Anal soft rays
  • 10-11 Gill rakers
  • 63 (14+49) Vertebrae
  • Deepsea Sole Anatomy

    Eyed side is warm brown, marble, darker toward margins, becoming dark brown to black on vertical fins. Light blue spots scattered everywhere on body and fins, densely gathered on dorsal and ventral thirds of sides to form five to six broad blotchy bluish-white bars, irregular with those of the ground color, and matching above and below. Lips, branchiostegal membranes and gill rakers black. All fins dark brown; fin rays with tiny light blue spots, fin membranes with black narrow margins. Blind side is dusky brownish.
        This well-marked species differs from the species of Microstomus in its much greater depth and bright coloration, and in having teeth well developed on both sides of jaws, as in the species of Glyptocephalus

    The Deepsea sole lives on muddy bottoms at greater depths of between 135 and 5,900 ft (41 and 1,800 m), though it is most often found at depths of 1,600 to 3,120 ft (500 to 950 m).
        Adult feed on Benthic organisms such as Polychaete Palps, Juvenile bivalves, Glam siphons, Harpacticoid copepods, Amphipods, Cumaceans, and Juvenile decapods, chaetopod marine worms, crabs, mollusks, and forage fish like young herring, shrimps, and sand dollars.
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