Species encyclopedia


Scophthalmus maximus


During their first two or three years, turbot live close to the coastline, moving further away as they age.

Turbot, like all flatfish, have a great capacity for mimicry and continuously adapt their colour to match the ocean floor. Their eyes perceive the colour of the ground and send that information back through the nervous system to the skin’s cells, which contain black, yellow and red pigments. These pigments can be spread out or concentrated in a single, almost invisible point, to change the animal’s colour.


Turbot is a particularly fertile species. In fact, a female can carry 5 to 15 million ova. Reproduction takes places over beds of stone or gravel. The eggs, and then the larvae, live out in the open water.

After two months of this pelagic life, the larvae settle on the floor and metamorphose. The right eye moves to the left side of the animal. This transformation is complete after three to six months. The animal then lays down on its blind side (the side with no eyes) and begins its bottom-dwelling life on the sandy beds of coastal zones.

The group of flatfish includes fish that have undergone a metamorphosis involving the migration of an eye: sole, plaice and flounder, but also halibut, which can grow as large as 300 kg and 2.5 m in length.

Atlantic Ocean


Species encyclopedia

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