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

The lemon sole is actually not a sole, but a right-eyed flounder. It is a commercially exploited marine flatfish widespread on the coastal banks of Europe. It is native to shallow seas around Northern Europe, where it lives on stony bottoms down to depths of about 660 ft (200m), mostly between 40 to 200m. It comes in a large variety of colors. It is capable of adapting the color according to the surroundings within seconds. They have small head. The lateral line is straight, except for a curve around the pectoral fin. It grows up to 28 in (70 cm) in length and reaches about 6.6 lb (3 kg) in weight.
Lemon-Sole The lemon sole, Microstomus kitt, also known as Lemon dab, Lemon fish, Sweet fluke, Smear dab; Mary sole, Limande sole in France, Limande in Germany, Камбала Малоротая in Russian, is a flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae, widely distributed through the British Isles and Ireland but most commonly found in the English Channel and Irish Sea. This is a North-East Atlantic species, widespread from the White Sea and Iceland and down to the Bay of Biscay, and to the north west to Rockall and Faroe banks, round the Faroe Islands, north east of Scotland and on all coasts of Iceland.

The lemon sole is a right-eyed flatfish with a deep oval body, its depth two to three times in standard length. Mouth with prominent lips is very small; the top jaw does not reaching for a vertical of a first line of the lower eye. A teeth on jaw small, on the top jaw from an eye side 13 teeth, on blind no more than 16. The snout naked, is shorter than diameter of an eye. They have very small head. Lateral line is almost straight with a slight curve above the pectoral fin. The dorsal and anal fins are smoothly curved and reach as far back as the tail. Tail stalk very short, its height in 34 times exceeds its length. First inter-haemal spine is not projecting in front of anal fin. Eyed side marbled with thick skin and partly embedded cycloid scales. Skin is marbled, slimy and smooth. Flounder Anatomy

Key characters

Right-eyed flounder with deep oval body, with a small head and very small mouth. Dorsal and anal fins are smoothly curved. No space between tail fin and dorsal and anal fins. Pelvic fin is close to the anal fin. Marbled coloration with both darker and paler blotches.
  • 85 to 97 dorsal fin rays
  • 69 to 76 anal fin rays
  • 110-125 scales on lateral line
  • Max. Length: 28 in (70 cm)
  • Max. Weight: 6.6 lb (3 kg)
  • Max. Age: 23 years
  • Lemon Sole Anatomy

    The eyed side is reddish brown or marbled brown to grey in color, mottled with irregular mahogany, pink and orange and markings and flecks of yellow and green, and a prominent orange patch is typically found behind the pectoral fin, around which the lateral line also curves. The underside of the fish is white. Adults can reach lengths of up to 70 cm (28 in), but most measure around 2030 cm (812 in).

    Lemon sole are benthic, a demersal species found on offshore banks at high benthonic temperatures (5-14C) at depths between 10 to 200 m, usually 10 - 150 m; they can live on any type of bottom but prefer to frequent sand, gravel and rocky mixed, stony bottoms. Smaller specimens can be found near the shore most frequent on diveable depths. They found throughout European and Scandinavian waters and is most common in the colder northern waters.
        Feeds on a variety of small invertebrates, crustaceans and mollusks, but worms, polychaetes seem to dominate. Apparently they do not feed in wintertime.

    Lemon sole spawns in spring and summer, ranging from April to September, in depths of 100 m. It becomes sexually mature at 3-4 years (males), 4-6 years (females), and may live for 17 years.

    Lemon sole marketed fresh and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, broiled, microwaved and baked. It is a moderately important food-fish, caught mainly in trawls. The most common fishing techniques are "demersal bottom trawling" and "small flatfish (flounders, soles) bottom trawling". Lemon sole of up to 48cm regularly occur in commercial catches but few exceed this size. Worm and fish baits are the most effective way of attracting this species.
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