Pelican Flounder, Chascanopsetta lugubris Alcock 1894

Pelican Flounder, Chascanopsetta lugubris. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A greatly compressed left-eye flounder with an enormous mouth, the upper jaw shorter than the head length, the lower jaw protruding slightly beyond the upper jaw, and lateral lines developed on both sides of the body.
Image of a larval Pelecan Flounder.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Chascanopsetta lugubris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Dec 2023,

Pelican Flounder, Chascanopsetta lugubris Alcock 1894

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Off Shark Bay, Western Australia, to the Arafura Sea north of Darwin, Northern Territory, and off the northern Great Barrier Reef to off Bermagui, New South Wales; also in the Lord Howe Island region in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Atlantic Indo-west Pacific.
Occurs on soft bottoms habitats (sandy, muddy and clay areas) of the outer continental shelf and upper continental slope, including on seamounts.


Dorsal fin 111-127; Anal fin 76-88. 
Body greatly compressed; mouth extremely large, maxillary not projecting beyond tip of snout; canine teeth absent; tip of lower jaw projecting slightly beyond upper jaw; upper jaw shorter than head length. Lateral lines developed on both sides of body.


May be taken as by-catch by commercial trawlers.

Species Citation

Chascanopsetta lugubris Alcock 1894, J. Asiatic Soc. Bengal 63(2,2): 129, pl. 6 (fig.4). Type locality: Bay of Bengal, 145-250 fathoms, 13°51'12"N, 80°28'12"E.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Pelican Flounder, Chascanopsetta lugubris Alcock 1894


Alcock, A.W. 1894. Natural history notes from H.M. Indian Marine Survey Steamer Investigator, Commander C.F. Oldham, R.N., commanding. Series 2(11). An account of a recent collection of bathybial fishes from the Bay of Bengal and from the Laccadive Sea. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 63(2,2): 115-137 pls 6-7 Ref at BHL

Amaoka, K. 1971. Studies on the larvae and juveniles of the sinistral flounders-II. Chascanopsetta lugubris. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 18: 25-32 Open access

Amaoka, K. & Yamamoto, E. 1984. Review of the genus Chascanopsetta, with the description of a new species. Bulletin of the faculty of fisheries Hokkaido University 35 (4): 201–224. Open access

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

Fukui, A., Tanaka, R. & Ozawa, T. 2001. Larva of Chascanopsetta lugubris lugubris (Bothidae) disgorged by lancetfish (Alepisaurus sp.) Ichthyological Research. 48: 100-103.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 

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. 

Hensley, D.A. & Smale, M.J. 1998. A new species of the flatfish genus Chascanopsetta (Pleuronectiformes: Bothidae) from the coasts of Kenya and Somalia with comments on C. lugubris. Special Publication J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology 59: 1-16, figs 1-5

Leis, J.M & T. Trnski. 1989. The Larvae of Indo-Pacific Shorefishes. NSW University Press, 371 pp.

Munroe, T A. 2015. 239 Family Bothidae, pp. 1673-1681 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds) The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Munroe, T., Adeofe, T.A., Camara, K., Camara, Y.H., Djiman, R., Cissoko, K., Mbye, E., Sagna, A., Sidibé, A, Sylla, M., Tous, P. & de Morais, L. 2015. Chascanopsetta lugubris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T15601985A15603990. Downloaded on 13 December 2018.

Norman, J.R. 1934. A Systematic Monograph of the Flatfishes (Heterosomata) Psettodidae, Bothidae, Pleuronectidae. London : British Museum Vol. 1 459 pp. 317 figs.

Tongboonkua, P., Lee, M.-Y.  & Chen, W.-J. 2018. A new species of sinistral flatfish of the genus Chascanopsetta(Teleostei: Bothidae) from off Papua New Guinea, western Pacific Ocean. Zootaxa 4476(1): 168-181. DOI:

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37460049

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:120-1000 m

Habitat:Sand, mud, clay bottoms

Max Size:40 cm TL

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