Ichthyological Research

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 276–291 | Cite as

Taxonomic review of East Asian Pleuronichthys (Pleuronectiformes: Pleuronectidae), with description of a new species

  • Shotaro SuzukiEmail author
  • Takatoshi Kawashima
  • Tetsuji Nakabo
Full Paper


A review of East Asian frog flounders, genus Pleuronichthys (family Pleuronectidae), recognized Pleuronichthys japonicus sp. nov. and P. cornutus (Temminck and Schlegel 1846). Pleuronichthys japonicus sp. nov. is characterized by small, dark, rounded spots or marbled markings on the ocular side of the body, rounded cycloid scales somewhat irregularly arranged, usually 12 abdominal vertebrae, 67–80 (modally 75) dorsal-fin rays, 48–59 (modally 55) anal-fin rays, and a short branch of the supratemporal lateral line usually present on both sides. Pleuronichthys cornutus is characterized by densely distributed small, dark, irregular spots on the ocular side of the body, elongate cycloid scales somewhat regularly arranged, usually 13 abdominal vertebrae, 72–88 (modally 77) dorsal-fin rays, 52–65 (modally 58) anal-fin rays, and a branch of the supratemporal lateral line usually absent on both sides. Whereas P. cornutus is distributed from Miyagi Prefecture (Tohoku District) southward along the Pacific coast of Japan to the Bungo Channel, from Akita Prefecture (Tohoku District) southward along the Sea of Japan coast through the Tsushima Strait to the East China Sea, Yellow and Bohai Seas, the Taiwan Strait, and northern Chinese coast of the South China Sea, P. japonicus is distributed from southern Hokkaido southward along the Sea of Japan and Pacific coasts of Japan to the southern East China Sea. Geographic variations were found in caudal vertebrae and anal-fin ray counts, and caudal-peduncle depth in P. cornutus, and in ocular side body coloration, body depth, and head length in P. japonicus. Pleuronichthys lighti Wu 1929 was regarded as a junior synonym of P. cornutus.


Pleuronectidae Pleuronichthys Pleuronichthys japonicus sp. nov. 



We are grateful to S. Moriwaki (Shimane Prefectural Fisheries Experimental Station), H. Hirakawa (Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Experimental Station), T. Fujii (Japan Sea National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency), Y. Ikewaki (Fisheries Research Institute, Tokushima Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Technology Support Center), Y. Aonuma (Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency), K. Takatsu (Yamaguchi Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations), R. Suzuki and M. Shiogaki (Aomori Prefectural Fisheries Research Center), T. Noda and M. Aritaki (Miyako Station, National Center for Stock Enhancement), C.-H. Jeong (Inha University), R. Doiuchi (Fisheries Experimental Station, Wakayama Research Center of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Y. Kai (FAKU) and G. Kamiya (formerly Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University) for help in collecting specimens. We thank K. Sakai (Noto Marine Center), S. Kimura (FRLM), K. Nakaya and M. Yabe (HUMZ), and H. Senou (Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History) for loans of specimens, H. Sugiyama (Akita Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Center) and H. Senou for supplying photographs, and M.J.P. van Oijen (RMNH) for assistance in the examination of specimens. We also thank K. Watanabe (Kyoto University) for assistance in preparing soft X-ray negatives. G.S. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) kindly reviewed the English manuscript and offered helpful comments. This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from Japan Society for Promotion of Science (20370034).


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shotaro Suzuki
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Takatoshi Kawashima
    • 2
  • Tetsuji Nakabo
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Fisheries Division, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and FisheriesShimane Prefectural GovernmentMatsueJapan
  3. 3.The Kyoto University Museum, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Culture and Sports Projects Bureau, The Yomiuri ShimbunOsakaJapan

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