Greenback Flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina Günther 1862

Other Names: Melbourne Flounder, Southern Flounder

A Greenback Flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina, at Battery Point, Derwent River, Hobart, Tasmania. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution


A distinctly rhomboidal-shaped flatfish with a long snout tip, and no pelvic fins on the underside. The Greenback flounder varies in colour from greenish and greyish, to brownish, with or without darker spots and blotches.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Rhombosolea tapirina in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Nov 2018,

Greenback Flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina Günther 1862

More Info


Known in Australia from southern New South Wales and Tasmania, to Western Australia. Elsewhere in New Zealand, including the Auckland and Campbell Islands.

Adults inhabit sandy, silty and muddy bottoms in sheltered bays, estuaries, and
inshore coastal waters in depths to 100 metres. They also occur in the deeper channels of estuaries. Females are usually more common in shallower water than males.

Juveniles settle out onto shallow sand and mudflats, blending into the substrate.
They are able to tolerate a range of salinites and can be found in the upper reaches of estuaries.


Adults are nocturnal and feed on benthic invertebrates such as crustaceans and polychaete worms. Juveniles consume small crustaceans such as amphipods and copepods, and polychaete worms.


Rhombosolea tapirina is a serial spawning  over a prolonged spawning season from late winter to spring. Females move into the deeper parts of estuaries and to offshore waters to spawn.


Greenback Flounder are fished commercially and recreationally in south-eastern Australia, with small catches also taken in Queensland and Western Australia. They are taken with bottom-set gill nets and seine nets, and are also caught incidentally in Danish seines and otter trawls. The species is also commercially important in New Zealand.


Dianne J. Bray

Greenback Flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina Günther 1862


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37461003

Depth:1–100 m

Fishing:Commercial & recreational fish

Habitat:Sandy & silty bottoms

Max Size:45 cm

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