Threespot Righteye Flounder, Samariscus triocellatus Woods 1960

Other Names: Threespot Flounder

A small slender brownish righteye flounder mottled with irregular dark and pale markings, 2-3 dark-edged ocelli along the lateral line, the pectoral fins blackish distally, black spots on the caudal fin, and minute black dots on the dorsal and anal fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Samariscus triocellatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Jun 2023,

Threespot Righteye Flounder, Samariscus triocellatus Woods 1960

More Info


Offshore reefs of north-western Australia and the territories of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island in the Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Moreton Bay, Queensland; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits sandy areas in lagoons and on seaward reef slopes at depths to 30 m.


Dorsal-fin rays 64-70; Anal-fin rays 51-47; Pectoral-fin rays 5; Lateral-line scales 71-75; Abdominal vertebrae 9; Caudal vertebrae 31-32.


To 10 cm SL.


Body mottled brown body with irregular paler and darker markings, and three dark-edged ocelli along the lateral line; outer part of pectoral fins blackish; dorsal and anal fins with minute black dots; caudal fin with black spots.


Feeds on small benthic inverterbrates and fishes.


Of no interest to fisheries.


Not evaluated.


This well-camouflaged species resemble a flatworm as it slowly moves across the bottom, sometimes waving its black pectoral fin.


The species name triocellatus is Latin meaning three spots, in reference to the three ocelli along the back.

Species Citation

Samariscus triocellatus Woods 1960, Handbook of Hawaiian Fishes: 151, 323. Type locality: Coral head in eastern end of lagoon, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, western Pacific, depth 20-25 feet.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Threespot Righteye Flounder, Samariscus triocellatus Woods 1960


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Díaz de Astarloa, J.M., Causse, R. &  Pruvost, P. 2014. New dextral flounder Samariscus hexaradiatus sp. nov. (Samaridae, Pleuronectiformes) from the Solomon Islands, south-west Pacific. Cybium 37(4): 241-246,

Hensley, D.A. 2001. Pleuronectidae. pp. 3863-3877 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kawai, T., Amaoka, K. & Séret, B. 2008. Samariscus multiradiatus, a new dextral flounder (Pleuronectiformes: Samaridae) from New Caledonia. Ichthyological Research 55: 17–21,

Kawai, T., Amaoko, K. & Séret, B. 2011. Samariscus neocaledonia, a new righteye flounder (Teleostei: Pleuronectiformes: Samaridae) from New Caledonia. Zootaxa 3135: 63–68, 10.5281/zenodo.207959

Munroe, T.A., Weerts, S.P. & Nair, R. 2020. Samariscus triocellatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T123502504A123517815. Downloaded on 30 March 2021.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

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

Voronina, E.P. & Suzumoto, A.Y. 2017. Samaretta perexilis, a new genus and new species of samarid flatfish (Pleuronectiformes: Samaridae) from the South Pacific. Journal of Ichthyology 57(1): 1-9,

Woods, L.P. 1960. Pleuronectidae. in Gosline, W.A. & Brock, V.E. Handbook of Hawaiian Fishes. University of Hawaii Press pp. i-ix + 1-372.

Woods, L.P. 1966. Family Pleuronectidae. pp. 66-68 in Schultz, L.P., Woods, L.P. & Lachner, E.A. (eds) 1966. Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Vol. 3. Families Kraemeriidae through Antennariidae. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 202(3): 1-176, figs 133-156, pls 124-148

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37461025

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:10 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map