Longsnout Flounder, Ammotretis rostratus Günther 1862

Other Names: Bay Flounder, Long-nosed Flounder, Long-snout Flounder, Long-snouted Flounder, Long-snouted Sole, The Melbourne Sole

A Longsnout Flounder, Ammotretis rostratus, at St Leonards, Port Phillip, Victoria, March 2020. Source: @dentrock / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A sandy-coloured to pale brown flounder speckled with variable darker spots, and a whitish pectoral fin on the blind side (underside). The Longsnout Flounder has both eyes on the right side of the head, the dorsal fin originating at the tip of the hooked snout, and two pelvic fins
This is the most common flounder in Port Phillip, Victoria - mostly extremely well-camouflaged juveniles that are difficult to see.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Bradley, E. 2022, Ammotretis rostratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/985

Longsnout Flounder, Ammotretis rostratus Günther 1862

More Info


Southern Australia, from Newcastle, New South Wales, to Hardy Inlet, Western Australia, including coastal Tasmania.
Inhabits broken shelly and sandy areas in bays, estuaries and coastal waters, in depths to 80 m. Juveniles occur in shallower waters than adults, especially in estuaries. 


Dorsal fin 76-86; Anal fin 51-56; Caudal fin 14; Pectoral fin (right) 11-13, (left) 9-12; Pelvic fin (right) 7, (left) 4; Lateral line scales 70-90.
Body deep (55-60% SL); head small; eyes small, separated by a narrow space; snout extended into a hook-like process projecting downwards in front of small, oblique mouth; teeth small. 
Scales ctenoid, very small, rather firmly attached on both sides.
Dorsal, anal and caudal fins separate; dorsal fin arising on tip of snout. Both pectoral fins of similar size and shape. Pelvic-fin base on right side elongate.


Attains a length of about 30cm TL.


The eyed side (right side) of Longsnout Flounders is light brown or sandy and speckled with darker spots. The pectoral fin is mostly black in larger individuals. The blind side (left side) is whitish in colour.


Feeds on small bony fishes, crustaceans, bivalves and squids.



Although the flesh is of a very high quality, most fish caught are too small to make preparation worthwhile.



This is the most common species of the genus in southern Australian waters - and possibly the most frequently encountered flounder in this area.

Similar Species


The specific name is from the Latin rostratus (= beaked), in reference to the fleshy hook-like snout.

Species Citation

Ammotretis rostratus Günther 1862, Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum Vol. 4: 458. Type locality: Norfolk Bay, Tasmania (incorrect as Norfolk Island in original publication).


Bray, D.J. & Bradley, E. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Longsnout Flounder, Ammotretis rostratus Günther 1862


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp. 

Castelnau, F.L. de 1872. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 1. The Melbourne fish market. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 1: 29-242 1 pl. (described as Rhombosolea bassensis, type locality Melbourne, Vic) See ref at BHL

Crawford, C.M. 1986. Development of eggs and larvae of the flounders Rhombosolea tapirina and Ammotretis rostratus (Pisces: Pleuronectidae). Journal of Fish Biology 29(3): 325-334. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1986.tb04949.x

Edgar, G.J. 2000. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland Revised Edn, 544 pp. 

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. 

Günther, A. 1862. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Acanthopterygii Pharyngognathi and Anacanthini in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 4 534 pp. Ref at BHL

Jenkins, G.P. 1987. Comparative diets, prey selection and predatory impact of co-occurring larvae of two flounder species. Journal of Experimental Marine Biological Ecology 110: 147-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-0981(87)90025-6

Klunzinger, C.B. 1879. Die v. Müller'sche Sammlung Australischer Fische. Anzeiger der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Wien 16(22): 254-261 (as Solea uncinata, type locality King George Sound, WA)

Kner, R. 1867. Fische, Dritte Abteilung. Reise der österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde in den Jahren 1857–1858–1859, unter den Befehlen des Commodore B. von Wüllestorf-Urbair. Zoologischer Theil 1. Wien : Kurl Gerold's & Sohn Vol. 5 273-433 pp. 12-16 pls. (as Amm. rostratus? Gth. vel Adspersus n. sp., type locality Sydney, NSW) Ref available online

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. 

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs. 

Macleay, W.J. 1882. Description of two fishes lately taken in or near Port Jackson. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 7(3): 366-367 (described as Ammotretis zonatus, type locality Port Jackson, NSW) Ref at BHL

Munroe, T.A. 2021. Ammotretis rostratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T158644577A158673997. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-2.RLTS.T158644577A158673997.en. Accessed on 14 January 2022.

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 See ref at BHL

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

Ogilby, J.D. 1885. Notes and descriptions of some rare Port Jackson fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 10(1): 119-123 (described as Ammotretis macleayi, type locality Port Jackson) Ref at BHL

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 

Saville-Kent, W. 1889. Preliminary Report on the Food-fishes of Queensland. Brisbane : Government Printer 12 pp. 16 pls. (as Ammotretis ovalis, nomen nudum)

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37461001

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:1–80 m

Habitat:Sandy, shelly areas

Max Size:30 cm TL


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