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

Summary:

A greenish to greyish or brownish flounder, with a pale underside, a distinctly rhomboidal shape, a long fleshy snout, and no pelvic fins on the underside. Darker spots and blotches may be present on the upper side.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Rhombosolea tapirina in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Sep 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/994

Greenback Flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina Günther 1862

More Info


Distribution

Known in Australia from Jervis Bay, New South Wales, to the Great Australian Bight, eastern Western Australia, and throughout Tasmania. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand, including the Auckland and Campbell Islands.

Adults inhabit sandy, silty and muddy areas in sheltered bays, estuaries, and
inshore coastal waters in depths to 100 metres. Greenback Flounder 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.

Features

Dorsal fin 56-69; Anal fin 40-50; Caudal fin 14-17; Pectoral fin 10; Pelvic fin 6 (fin absent on blind side);  Lateral line scales 72-83.
Body deep (47 60% SL), extremely compressed, of moderate length. Head of moderate size (27-32% SL); eyes on right side of head, small (16-21% HL), separated by moderately narrow space; snout slightly extended into fleshy process projecting more or less in front of mouth in adults;  mouth of moderate size (upper jaw length on eyed side 23-25% HL), oblique, extending to below anterior edge of lower eye; teeth small, narrow band on blind side in each jaw. 
Scales very small, rather firmly attached, cycloid on both sides of body, covering head except well anteriorly; lateral line on both sides, with slight dorsal curve above pectoral fins, extending well onto head and splitting into two branches.  
Dorsal, anal and caudal fins separate; dorsal fin arising somewhat above tip of snout, first few rays joined by membranes only at base; caudal fin rather truncate. Right pectoral fin slightly longer than left; first ray of left fin without swollen tip. Pelvic fin on eyed side with elongate base originating at anterior extent of chest, connected by membrane to anal fin, blind side fin usually absent.

Feeding

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.

Biology

Rhombosolea tapirina is a serial spawner, and females spawn in offshore waters and the deeper parts of estuaries from late winter to spring.

Fisheries

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 commercially important in New Zealand.

Species Citation

Rhombosolea tapirina Günther 1862, Cat. fish. British Mus. Vol. 4 459. Type locality: Australian Seas

Author

Bray, D.J. 2019

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Greenback Flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina Günther 1862

References


Barnett, C.W. & Pankhurst, N.W. 1999. Reproductive biology and endocrinology of greenback flounder Rhombosolea tapirina (Günther 1862). Marine and Freshwater Research 50: 35-42. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF97103

Burchmore, J.J. 1982. The comparative ecology of sympatric flatfish species
(Pleuronectiformes) in Botany Bay, New South Wales. MSc Thesis, University of Sydney.

Castelnau, F.L. de 1872. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 1. The Melbourne fish market. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 1: 29-242 1 pl (described as Pleuronectes victoriaeSee ref at BHL

Chen, W.-M., Purser, J. & Blyth, P. 1999. Diel feeding rhythms of greenback flounder Rhombosolea tapirina (Günther 1862): the role of light-dark cycles and food deprivation. Aquaculture Research 30: 529-537.

Cox, E.S. & Pankhurst, P.M. 2000. Feeding behaviour of greenback flounder larvae, Rhombosolea tapirina (Günther) with differing exposure histories to live prey. Aquaculture Research 183: 285-297.

Crawford, C.M. 1984. An ecological study of Tasmanian flounder. Ph.D thesis, University of Tasmania, 211 pp. See ref online

Crawford, C.M. 1984. Preliminary results of experiments on the rearing of Tasmanian flounders, Rhombosolea tapirina and Ammotretis rostratus. Aquaculture 42: 75-81.

Crawford, C.M. 1986. Development of eggs and larvae of the flounders Rhombosolea tapirina and Ammotretis rostratus (Pisces: Pleuronectidae). Journal of Fish Biology 29: 325-334.

Earl, J. 2014. Population biology and ecology of the greenback flounder (Rhombosolea tapirina) in the Coorong estuary, South Australia. Ph.D Thesis, Flinders University, South Australia.

Earl, J., Fowler, A.J., Ye, Q. & Dittmann, S. 2014. Age validation, growth and population characteristics of greenback flounder (Rhombosolea tapirina) in a large temperate estuary, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 48(2): 229-244, https://doi.org/10.1080/00288330.2013.875928

Earl, J., Fowler, A.J., Ye, Q. & Dittmann, S. 2017. Complex movement patterns of greenback flounder (Rhombosolea tapirina) in the Murray River estuary and Coorong, Australia  - Journal of Sea Research 122: 1-10  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2017.01.008

Earl, J. & Ye, Q. 2016. Greenback flounder (Rhombosolea tapirina) Stock Assessment Report 2014/15. Report to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2007/000315-2. SARDI Research Report Series No. 889. 40 pp. PDF available

Edgar, G.J. 2000. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland Revised Edn, 544 pp.

Edgar, G.J., Last, P.R. & Wells, M.W. 1982. Coastal Fishes of Tasmania and Bass Strait. Hobart : Cat & Fiddle Press 175 pp.

Edgar, G J. & Shaw, C. 1995. The production and trophic ecology of shallow-water fish assemblages in southern Australia I. Species richness, size-structure and production of fishes in Western Port, Victoria. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 194: 53-81.

Ferguson, G. 2006. Fisheries biology of the greenback flounder Rhombosolea tapirina (Günther 1862) (Teleostei: Pleuronectidae) in South Australia. Report for PIRSA Fisheries. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide, RD06/0008-1. 18 pp.

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Pleuronectidae. pp. 851-859, figs 753-760 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Rhombosoleidae. pp. 810-816 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Günther, A. 1862. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Acanthopterygii Pharyngognathi and Anacanthini in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 4 534 pp. (described as both Rhombosolea monopus and R. tapirina) See ref at BHL

Günther, A. 1863. On new species of fishes from Victoria, South Australia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 3 11(17): 114-117 (described as Rhombosolea flesoides) See ref at BHL

Jenkins, G.P. 1986. Composition, seasonality and distribution of ichthyoplankton in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 37: 507-520.

Jenkins, G.P. 1987. Age and growth of co-occurring larvae of two flounder species, Rhombosolea tapirina and Ammotretis rostratus. Marine Biology 95: 157-166.

Jenkins, G.P. 1987. Comparative diets, prey selection, and predatory impact of co-occurring larvae of two flounder species. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 110: 147-170.

Jenkins, G.P., May, H.M.A., Wheatley, M.J. & Holloway, M.G. 1997. Comparison of fish assemblages associated with seagrass and adjacent unvegetated habitats of Port Phillip Bay and Corner Inlet, Victoria, Australia, with emphasis on commercial species. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 44: 569-588.

Jenkins, G.P., Shaw, M. & Stewart, B.D. 1993. Spatial variation in food-limited growth of juvenile Greenback Flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina: evidence from otolith daily increments and otolith scaling. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 50: 2558-2567.

Jenkins, G.P. & Wheatley, M.J. 1998. The influence of habitat structure on nearshore fish assemblages in a southern Australian embayment: comparison of shallow seagrass, reef-algal and unvegetated sand habitats, with emphasis on their importance to recruitment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 221: 147-172.

Jordan, A.R., Mills, D.M., Ewing, G. & Lyle, J.M. 1998. Assessment of inshore habitats around Tasmania for life-history stages of commercial finfish species. Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, University of Tasmania.

Kailola, P.J., Williams, M.J., Stewart, P.C., Reichelt, R.E., McNee, A. & Grieve, C. 1993. Australian Fisheries Resources. Canberra : Bureau of Resource Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation 422 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kurth, D. 1957. An investigation of the greenback flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina Günther. PhD thesis. University of Tasmania.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

May, H.M.A. & Jenkins, G.P. 1992. Patterns of settlement and growth of juvenile flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina, determined from otolith microstructure. Marine Ecology Progress Series 79: 203-214. Full text available

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

Munroe, T.A. 2015. 241 Family Rhombosoleidae, pp. 1687-1702, in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Norman, J.R. 1934. A Systematic Monograph of the Flatfishes (Heterosomata) Psettodidae, Bothidae, Pleuronectidae. London : British Museum Vol. 1 459 pp. 317 figs. 

Sakamoto, K. 1984. Interrelationships of the Family Pleuronectidae (Pisces: Pleuronectiformes). Memoirs of the Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University 31(1,2): 95-215 figs 1-51

Shaw, M. & Jenkins, G.P. 1992. Spatial variation in feeding, prey distribution and food limitation of juvenile flounder Rhombosolea tapirina Günther. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 165: 1-21.

Stewart, B.D. & Jenkins, G.P. 1991. Daily growth increments in the otoliths of juvenile greenback flounder, Rhombosolea tapirina Günther, 1862. Journal of Fish Biology 39: 605-608.

van den Enden, T., White, R.W.G. & Elliott, N.G. 2000. Genetic variation in the greenback flounder Rhombosolea tapirina Günther (Teleostei, Pleuronectidae) and the implications for aquaculture. Marine and Freshwater Research 51: 21-33. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF99022

Waite, E.R. 1906. Descriptions of and notes on some Australian and Tasmanian fishes. Records of the Australian Museum 6(3): 194-210 (as Rhombosolea flesoides) See ref at BHL

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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 TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map