Symphurus holothuriae Chabanaud 1948

A dwarf tongue sole known from a single male specimen collected in 1892 on the Holothuria Banks in the Timor Sea, off north Western Australia. The anterior margin of the upper eye is noticeably in advance of the anterior margin of the lower eye, and there is a well-developed fleshy ridge on the posterior part of the ocular-side lower jaw.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Symphurus holothuriae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 Sep 2022,

Symphurus holothuriae Chabanaud 1948

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Holothuria Banks, NNW of Admiralty Gulf, Timor Sea, Western Australia.


Dorsal fin 84; Anal fin 70; Pelvic fin 4; Caudal fin 12; Total vertebrae 46,  abdominal vertebrae 9 (3+6); Hypurals 4; Longitudinal scale rows 60; Scale rows on head posterior to lower orbit 16; Transverse scale rows 25.
Body elongate (BD 25.7% of SL); preanal length long (PAL 27.6% of SL); upper head lobe equal in length to lower head lobe; head long (HL 24.0% of SL), head length longer than head width (HW/HL= 0.97); postorbital length long (POL of 75.9% HL); snout short (SNL 14.3% of HL, SNL/ED= 1.45) and slightly blunt anteriorly; dorsal-fin origin at vertical through posterior margin of upper eye; predorsal length short (PDL= 19.7% of HL); eyes unequal in position with anterior margin of upper eye noticeably in advance of anterior margin of lower eye; well-developed fleshy ridge on posterior part of ocular-side lower jaw.


The species is named after the type locality, Holothuria Bank.

Species Citation

Symphurus holothuriae Chabanaud 1948, Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 2 20(6): 510. Type locality: Holothuria Bank, northwestern Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2021

Symphurus holothuriae Chabanaud 1948


Chabanaud, P. 1948. Description de quatres espèces inédites du genre Symphurus. Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris 2 20(6): 508-511. See ref at BHL

Chabanaud, P. 1955. Revision des Symphurus du Siboga. Beaufortia 46(5): 43-45

Lee, M.-Y. & Munroe, T. A. 2021. Unraveling cryptic diversity among shallow-water tonguefishes (Pleuronectiformes: Cynoglossidae: Symphurus) from the Indo-West Pacific region, with descriptions of five new species. Zootaxa 5039(1): 1–55.

Lee, M.-Y., Munroe. T.A. & Kai, Y. 2016. Description of a new cryptic species of tonguefish (Pleuronectiformes: Cynoglossidae: Symphurus) from shallow waters off Japan. Ichthyological Research 64(1): 71–83.

Lee, M.-Y., Munroe, T.A. & Shao, K.-T. 2014. Description of a new cryptic, shallow-water tonguefish (Pleuronectiformes: Cynoglossidae: Symphurus) from the western North Pacific Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology 85(3): 563–585.

Munroe, T. A. 1992. Interdigitation pattern of dorsal-fin pterygiophores and neural spines, an important diagnostic character for symphurine tonguefishes (Symphurus: Cynoglossidae: Pleuronectiformes). Bulletin of Marine Science 50(3): 357-403. See ref online

Munroe, T.A. & Marsh, B.N. 1997. Taxonomic status of three nominal species of Indo-Pacific symphurine tonguefishes (Symphurus: Cynoglossidae: Perciformes). Ichthyological Research 44(2): 189-200 figs 1-3,
(as Symphurus microrhynchus)

Quick Facts

Habitat:Soft sediment areas

Max Size:32.3 mm SL


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map