Ichthyological Research

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 385–392 | Cite as

Identity of the lectotype of the East Asian flatfish Pleuronichthys cornutus (Temminck and Schlegel 1846) and reinstatement of Pleuronichthys lighti Wu 1929

  • Kōji Yokogawa
  • Gota Ogihara
  • Ken-ichi Watanabe
Short Report


The taxonomy of two species of Pleuronichthys from East Asia was re-examined on the basis of scale characteristics. The lectotype of Pleuronichthys cornutus (Temminck and Schlegel 1846) was shown to be conspecific with Pleuronichthys japonicus Suzuki, Kawashima and Nakabo 2009, being characterized by oval scales, a greater exposed scale area and lower scale counts than a second species, formerly recognized as P. cornutus, but to which Pleuronichthys lighti Wu 1929, formerly considered a junior synonym of P. cornutus, should now be applied. Accordingly, P. japonicus is now considered a junior synonym of P. cornutus.


Pleuronichthys cornutus Pleuronichthys japonicus Lectotype Scale Reidentification 



The authors are grateful to Drs. Hiromitsu Endo (BSKU), Koichi Hoshino (SNFR), and Yoichi Sato (TKPM) for the loan of museum specimens of Pleuronichthys species. Dr. Endo also assisted in examining specimens from HUMZ, and provided some indispensable literature and information on the lectotype series of P. cornutus. Curators of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands, and the Kyoto University Museum, Japan, gave assistance in examining specimens in their care. Dr. Tianxiang Gao, Ocean University of China, provided some literature and Dr. Kunio Sasaki (BSKU) gave valuable advice on the composition of this paper. We also thank Dr. Graham S. Hardy, Ngunguru, New Zealand, for checking the manuscript.


  1. Boeseman M (1947) Revision of the fishes collected by Burger and von Siebold in Japan. Zool Med 28:1–242, pls 1–5Google Scholar
  2. Cheng B (1955) Pleuronectiformes. In: Tchang T, Cheng C, Cheng B, Li S, Cheng W, Wang W (eds) Survey report on fishes from the Yellow and Bohai Seas. Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, pp 274–305Google Scholar
  3. Chu Y (1931) Index piscium sinensium. Biol Bull St. John’s Univ (1):i–iv + 1–290Google Scholar
  4. Eschmeyer WN (ed) (2013) Catalog of Fishes, Electronic Version, Updated 10 March 2014. Accessed 3 April 2014
  5. Evseenko SA (2003) An annotated catalogue of pleuronectiform fishes (order Pleuronectiformes) of the seas of Russia and adjacent countries. J Ichthyol 43 (Sup 1):S57–S74Google Scholar
  6. Evseenko SA (2004) Family Pleuronectidae Cuvier 1816, righteye flounders. California Academy of Science. Annotated Checklists of Fishes 37:1–37Google Scholar
  7. Fitch JE (1963) A review of the fishes of the genus Pleuronichthys. Los Angeles County Mus Contr Sci 76:3–33Google Scholar
  8. Fowler HW (1933) A synopsis of the fishes of China, part 5. In: Herklots GAC (ed) Hong Kong Naturalist 4:156–175Google Scholar
  9. ICZN (1999) International code of zoological nomenclature, 4th edn. International Trust of Zoological Nomenclature, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Kato Y, Fujio Y (1979) On the sibling species of the flounder, Pleuronichthys cornutus. Fish Genet Bleed Sci (4):10–12Google Scholar
  11. Li S, Wang H (1995) Fauna Sinica, Ostichthyes, Pleuronectiformes. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  12. Masaki Y, Ito H (1984) Stock identification of finespotted flounder, Pleuronichthys cornutus (Temminck and Schlegel) in the western Seto Inland Sea. Bull Nansei Reg Fish Lab (16):11–51 Google Scholar
  13. Matsuoka M, Taniguchi N, Fujita H, Kitajima T, Tokimura M (1989) Comparative studies on two types of frog flounder, Pleuronichthys cornutus, in the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea–I, distributional, morphological and genetic differences. Bull Seikai Reg Fish Res Lab (67):23–36Google Scholar
  14. Nakabo T (2000) Family Pleuronectidae. In: Nakabo T (ed) Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species, 2nd ed. Tokai University Press, Tokyo, pp 1371–1379, 1637–1638Google Scholar
  15. Nozawa M, Kato F (1981) Morphological comparison of two types of frog flounder, Pleuronichthys cornutus, collected off Tottori Prefecture, in the Japan Sea. Bull Japan Sea Reg Fish Res Lab (32):1–8Google Scholar
  16. Ohashi Y, Motomura H (2011) Pleuronectiform fishes of northern Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Nat Kagoshima 37:71–118Google Scholar
  17. Reeves CD (1927) A catalogue of the fishes of north-eastern China and Korea. J Pan-Paci Res Inst 2(3):3–16Google Scholar
  18. Suzuki S, Kawashima T, Nakabo T (2009) Taxonomic review of East Asian Pleuronichthys (Pleuronectiformes: Pleuronectidae), with description of a new species. Ichthyol Res 56:276–291Google Scholar
  19. Temminck CJ, Schlegel H (1846) Pisces. Part X. In: von Siebold PF (ed) Fauna Japonica. Lugduni, Batavorum, pp 173–188Google Scholar
  20. Wang K (1933) Study of the teleost fishes of coastal region of Shangtung, part 1. Contr Biol Lab Sci Soc China, Zool Ser 9:1–76Google Scholar
  21. Watanabe K (1994) Studies on genetic, ecological and morphological differentiation between sibling species of Japanese flat fish (Genus Pleuronichthys). Bull Tokushima Pref Fish Exp Stn (extra):1–73Google Scholar
  22. Watanabe K, Numachi K (1988) Biochemical demonstration and morphological examination of the sibling species of the frog flounder in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 54:765–772Google Scholar
  23. Watanabe K, Numachi K, Goto M, Wada M, Kobayashi T, Kamaishi T (1994) Genetic differentiation of two forms of flatfishes, genus Pleuronichthys in Kiisuido Channel waters off the Pacific coast of central Japan, by restriction analysis of mitochondrial DNA. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 60:515–520Google Scholar
  24. Watanabe K, Numachi K, Ueta Y, Ishida Y (1996) Morphological characteristics in the two forms of flatfish, genus Pleuronichthys, in Kiisuido Channel waters off the Pacific coast of central Japan. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 62:23–27Google Scholar
  25. Wu H (1929) Study of the fishes of Amoy, part 1. Cont Biol Lab Sci Soc China, Zool Ser 5(4):i–vi + 1–90Google Scholar
  26. Wu H (1932) Contribution à l’étude morphologique, biologique et systématique des poissons hétérosomes (Pisces Heterosomata) de la Chine. Theses Univ Paris, ParisGoogle Scholar
  27. Yagura W (1922) Shumi kenkyu, kairui Sowa (Hobby study and essays on shells). Maiko Kairui-kan, TarumiGoogle Scholar
  28. Yamada U (1986) Pleuronectidae. In: Yamada U, Tagawa M, Kishida S, Hongo K (eds) Fishes of the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. Seikai Regional Fisheries Research Laboratory, Nagasaki, pp 378–401Google Scholar
  29. Yamada U, Tokimura M, Horikawa H, Nakabo T (2007) Fishes and fisheries of the East China and Yellow Seas. Tokai University Press, HadanoGoogle Scholar
  30. Yokogawa K, Nakao K, Matsubara T (2007) Precedence of Pecten Yagurai Yagura, 1922 (Bivalvia: Pectinidae) over Pecten Yagurai Makiyama, 1923, with lectotype designation of both taxa. Venus 65:375–378Google Scholar
  31. Yokogawa K, Watanabe K (2011) Squamatological differences between two closely related flatfish species of the genus Pleuronichthys (Pleuronectidae, Pleuronectiformes), with a proposal of unambiguous distinctive characters. Ichthyol Res 58:24–32Google Scholar
  32. Zhang H, Gao T, Xu H, Li P (2011) A new record of Pleuronichthys in China: Pleuronichthys japonicus. Period Ocean Univ China 41(1–2):51–54Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kōji Yokogawa
    • 1
  • Gota Ogihara
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ken-ichi Watanabe
    • 4
  1. 1.Nakatado-gunJapan
  2. 2.The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University (The Kagoshima University Museum)KagoshimaJapan
  3. 3.SagamiharaJapan
  4. 4.Itano-gunJapan

Personalised recommendations