Shortfin Flounder, Ammotretis brevipinnis Norman 1926

Other Names: Short-finned Flounder

Shortfin Flounder, Ammotretis brevipinnis. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A brownish flounder with small blackish spots on the side, broad outer margins on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins much darker than bases, a distinct large dark spot on the pectoral-fin base, and a whitish underside.
The pectoral fin of the underside is much shorter than that of eyed side, and the first ray has a bulbous tip.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Bradley, E., Ammotretis brevipinnis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Aug 2020,

Shortfin Flounder, Ammotretis brevipinnis Norman 1926

More Info


Only known to be from southwestern Australia, extending from Gulf St. Vincent and Kangaroo Island, South Australia, west to Albany, Western Australia. Shortfin Flounders inhabits sandy areas in depths of 10-50 m.


Dorsal fin ~69; Anal fin ~47; Caudal fin 14; Pectoral fin 10; Pelvic fin RHS 7, LHS 5-6; Lateral lin ~84.
Body deep (~50% SL), extremely compressed, of moderate length. Head moderately small (~27% SL); eyes on right side of head, small (~20% HL), separated by narrow space; snout extended into hook like process projecting downwards in front of mouth; mouth small (upper jaw length on eyed side ~21% HL), oblique, not extending to below lower eye; teeth small, narrow band in each jaw. 
Scales very small, rather firmly attached, ctenoid on eyed side, blind side scales cycloid anteriorly, ctenoid posteriorly, covering all of head; lateral line of both sides, with slight dorsal curve above pectoral fins, terminating posteriorly on head but with short segment above upper eye.  
Dorsal, anal and caudal fins separate;  dorsal fin arising on tip of snout, without elongate anterior rays; caudal fin rounded. Right pectoral fin much longer than left; first ray of left fin with swollen tip. Pelvic fin on eyed side with elongate base, originating at anterior extent of chest, connected by membrane to anal fin;  fin on blind side with short base.


Grows to 38cm TL.


The eyed side (right side) of Shortfin Flounders is brownish with small blackish spots. The broad outer margins of the dorsal, anal and caudal fins are much darker than their bases. The pectoral fin has a noticeable large dark spot on the base. The blind side (left side) of these fish is whitish.


The Shortfin Flounder is one of several species in the genus that are rather small bottom dwellers. They either pass under or through the majority of commercial trawls. Because of this, they are often missed by normal fishing techniques and are poorly known.

Species Citation

Ammotretis brevipinnis Norman 1926, Biol. Results Fish. Exp. 'Endeavour' 5(5): 268, fig. 11. Type locality: St. Vincent Gulf, South Australia.


Bray, D.J. & Bradley, E.


Australian Faunal Directory

Shortfin Flounder, Ammotretis brevipinnis Norman 1926


Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Pleuronectidae. pp. 851-859, figs 753-760 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. 

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Rhombosoleidae. pp. 810-816 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

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 

Sakamoto, K. 1984. Interrelationships of the Family Pleuronectidae (Pisces: Pleuronectiformes). Memoirs of the Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University 31(1,2): 95-215 figs 1-51

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37461016

Depth:10-50 m

Habitat:Sandy areas

Max Size:38cm TL

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