Leopard Flounder, Bothus pantherinus (Rüppell 1830)

Other Names: Panther Flounder

A Leopard Flounder, Bothus pantherinus, at Navy Pier, Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Western Australia, March 2014. Source: @fishx6 / www.whatsthatfish.com/. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A brownish to greyish left-eyed flounder with dark spots and dark-edged pale spots and florets on the eyed-side, and a large dark blotch on the straight section of the lateral line towards the rear of the body. Males have elongate pectoral fins used in territorial and courtship displays. 

Video of a Leopard Flounder in the Red Sea.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Bothus pantherinus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4687

Leopard Flounder, Bothus pantherinus (Rüppell 1830)

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, WA and from the Torres Strait Islands, Queensland to at least Sydney, New South Wales; also Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific, from East Africa, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf to the Tuamotu Archipelago, Marquesas Islands, Hawaii, and north to Japan.
Inhabits sandy, silty-sand or muddy areas in lagoons, bays and on sheltered reefs, often lying buried or partly buried in sand. Juveniles are sometimes seen in tidepools.


Commercially fished in parts of its range.

Species Citation

Rhombus pantherinus Rüppell 1830, Fische des Rothen Meeres 3: 121, pl. 31 (fig.1). Type locality: Mohila, (Muelih/Al Muwaylih) Saudi Arabia, Red Sea. 


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Leopard Flounder, Bothus pantherinus (Rüppell 1830)


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

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

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

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

Fukui, A. 1997. Early ontogeny and systematics of Bothidae, Pleuronectoidei. Bulletin of Marine Science. 60(1): 192-212.

Hensley, D.A. & Amaoka, K. 2001. Bothidae. pp. 3799-3841 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.

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Hutchins, J.B., Williams, D.McB., Newman, S.J., Cappo, M. & Speare, P. 1995. New records of fishes for the Rowley Shoals and Scott/Seringapatam Reefs, off north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 119-123. 

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. 

Munroe, T. 2016. Bothus pantherinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T18214519A46663989. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T18214519A46663989.en. Downloaded on 04 March 2017.

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 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

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. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1830. Atlas zu der Reise im nördlichen Afrika. Fische des Rothen Meeres 3. Frankfurt : H.L. Brünner 95-141 pls 25-35. 

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37460048

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-150 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy/silty areas

Max Size:30 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map