Tiger Sole, Soleichthys heterorhinos (Bleeker 1856)

Other Names: Aesop Sole, Banded Sole

A Tiger Sole, Soleichthys heterorhinos, at Mabul Island, Sabah, Malaysia, August 2011. Source: terence zahner / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A white to reddish-brown sole with numerous narrow dark brown bars or lines across the eyed side, a white margin and a bluish-black submarginal band on the dorsal and anal fins, and a pale caudal fin with a broad black margin. The species has a tubular anterior nostril the is longer than the eye diamter. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Soleichthys heterorhinos in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Dec 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4725

Tiger Sole, Soleichthys heterorhinos (Bleeker 1856)

More Info


Dampier Archipelago and offshore reefs, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, around the tropical north to Port Stephens, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific: Andaman Sea (west of Thailand) to Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, north to southern Japan, south to Australia.
Inhabits shallow protected sandy and rubble areas, usually burying itself during the day.


Dorsal fin 87-102; Anal fin77-87; Pectoral fin (branched) eyed side 7-9, blind side 6-8; Pelvic fin 4; lateral line scales (eyed side) 102-122; Vertebrae 50.

Somewhat elongate (depth 2.7-3.5 in SL), head short (6.0-6.8 on SL); eyes small, very close together, interorbital space minimal; tubular anterior nostril longer than eye diameter; ventral edge of head with a fringe of cirri.


The Tiger Sole, like other species of Soleichthys, swims with an undulating motion, mimicking flatworms which are toxic.

Species Citation

Solea heterorhinos Bleeker 1856, Acta Societatis Scientiarum Indo-Neerlandicae 1: 64. Type locality: Ambon (as Amboina), Indonesia


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Tiger Sole, Soleichthys heterorhinos (Bleeker 1856)


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

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. (as Aesopia heterorhinus)

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

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. (as Aesopia heterorhinus)

Bleeker, P. 1856. Beschrijvingen van nieuwe en weinig bekende vischsoorten van Amboina, verzameld op eene reis door den Molukschen Archipel, gedaan in het gevolg van den Gouverneur-Generaal Duymaer van Twist in September en October 1855. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Indo-Neerlandicae 1: 1-76 See ref online

Bleeker, P. 1860. Dertiende bijdrage tot de kennis der vischfauna van Celebes. Visschen van Bonthain, Badjoa, Sindjai, Lagoesi en Pompenoea. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Indo-Neerlandicae 8: 1-60 

Chabanaud, P. 1934. Les soléidés du groupe Zebrias, définition d'un sous-genre nouveau et description d'une sous-espèce nouvelle. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 59: 420-436 

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

Muchhala, N. & Munroe, T. 2004. A new species of Soleichthys (Soleidae: Pleuronectiformes) from tropical seas off northern Australia. Ichthyological Research 51: 57–62. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-003-0196-0

Munroe, T.A. 2001. Soleidae, Cynoglossidae. pp. 3878-3901 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. 

Munroe, T. 2016. Soleichthys heterorhinos. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69781901A69782132. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T69781901A69782132.en. Downloaded on 03 December 2020.

Munroe, T.A. & Menke, S.B. 2004. Two new soleid flatfishes Pleuronectiformes: Soleidae: Soleichthys) from Australian waters, with a re-description of Soleichthys microcephalus (Günther). Records of the Australian Museum 56: 247-258 https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1430

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 

Ramsay, E.P. 1883. Description of a new species of Solea from Port Stephens. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 7(4): 406 (described as Solea lineata) See ref as BHL

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37462015

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:18 cm TL

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