Bass Strait Flounder, Arnoglossus bassensis Norman 1926

A Bass Strait Flounder, Arnoglossus bassensis, from St Leonards, Port Phillip, Victoria. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A brownish-grey flounder with large blackish blotches along the mid-side and near the upper and lower edges of the body, and dark spots sometimes scattered on the fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2024, Arnoglossus bassensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Bass Strait Flounder, Arnoglossus bassensis Norman 1926

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Endemic to southern Australia, from Narooma, New South Wales, to Spencer Gulf, South Australia, including around Tasmania. Inhabits sandy and shelly areas at depths to 70 m.


Dorsal fin 96-102; Anal fin 76-80; Caudal fin 15; Pectoral fin 10; Pelvic fin 6; Lateral line scales 81-90; Gill rakers 7-8; Vertebrae 41-44.
Body deep (42-46% SL), extremely compressed, of moderate length. Head small (21-24% SL); eyes on left side of head, small (15-20% HL), separated by low, narrow ridge; mouth moderately small (upper jaw length 36-40% HL), oblique; teeth small, pointed, single row in each jaw.  
Scales very small, weakly ctenoid on eyed side, cycloid on blind side, somewhat loosely attached, covering all of head; lateral line present only on eyed side, with prominent dorsal curve above pectoral fin, terminating anteriorly above and behind upper end of gill opening.  
Dorsal, anal and caudal fins separate;  dorsal fin arising above anterior nostrils, without elongate anterior rays; caudal fin broadly pointed. Left pectoral fin slightly longer than right. Left pelvic fin originating at anterior extent of chest, with longer base than right.


Eyed-side brown with variable dark and pale spots and speckles, usually with large dark spots on midside. 

Similar Species

Difficult to distinguish from Mueller's Flounder, Arnoglossus muelleri. Mueller's Flounder has slightly larger scales and eyes, and appears to be more common.


The species is named bassensis for the type locality: Bass Strait.

Species Citation

Arnoglossus bassensis Norman 1926, Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 5(5): 246, fig. 6. Type locality: east coast of Flinders Island, Bass Strait, Tasmania.


Bray, D.J. 2024


Atlas of Living Australia

Bass Strait Flounder, Arnoglossus bassensis Norman 1926


Amaoka, K., Arai, M. & Gomon, M.F. 1997. A new species of Arnoglossus (Pleuronectiformes: Bothidae) from the southwestern coast of Australia. Ichthyological Research 44(2): 131-136 figs 1-3

Amaoka, K., Matsuura, K. & Carpenter, K.E. 2020. Arnoglossus bassensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T143819237A143844387. Accessed on 27 February 2024.

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Bothidae. pp. 844-850, figs 747-752 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 Bothidae. pp. 808-810 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

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

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

Norman, J.R. 1926. A report on the flatfishes (Heterosomata) collected by the F.I.S. Endeavour, with a synopsis of the flatfishes of Australia and a revision of the subfamily Rhombosoleinae. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 5(5): 219-308 figs 1-15

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37460029

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:4-70 m

Habitat:Sandy areas

Max weight:25 cm TL


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