Threespot Righteye Flounder, Samariscus triocellatus Woods 1960

Other Names: Threespot Flounder

Samariscus triocellatus is a small slender righteye flounder with a mottled brown body and three dark-edged ocelli along the lateral line. It usually lives on rubble and sandy bottoms of coral reefs. As it slowly moves across the bottom, it is well camouflaged to resemble a flatworm, sometimes waving its black pectoral fin.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Samariscus triocellatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jan 2021,

Threespot Righteye Flounder, Samariscus triocellatus Woods 1960

More Info

Max Length Australia



Known in tropical and warm temperate waters of north-western Australia and the territories of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island; on the east coast from the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea islands, (Queensland), Christmas Island, and Elizabeth Reef off New South Wales. Inhabits sandy areas near coral reefs in depths of 3-15 metres. Elsewhere, widespread in the tropical Indo-West-Central Pacific.


Meristic features: 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.


Carnivore - feeds on small benthic inverterbrates and fishes.


Of no interest to fisheries.


Not evaluated.


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.


Dianne J. Bray

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: 67-86

Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island Natural History Association, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, 6798, Australia. 197 p.

Hensley, D.A. 2001. Pleuronectidae (pp. 3863–3877). In: Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes and marine mammals. FAO, Rome.

Hoese, D.F. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Family Samaridae (pp. 1838–1840). In: Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. Part 3. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing.

Hutchins, J.B.  2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50.

Kawai, T., Amaoka, K. & Séret, B. 2008. Samariscus multiradiatus, a new dextral flounder (Pleuronectiformes: Samaridae) from New Caledonia. Ichthyol. Res. 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.

Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen & R.C. Steene. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press: 1-507

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

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

Woods, L.P. 1966. Family Pleuronectidae (pp. 66-68). In: Schultz, L.P, L.P. Woods & E.A. Lachner (eds).  Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 202(3): i-vii+1-176, Pls.124-148.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37461025

Depth:3-15 metres


Habitat:Coral reef - sandy bottom

Max Size:To 10 cm SL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map