Wide-eyed Flounder (Bothus podas Delaroche, 1809) is a sea fish from the Bothidae family.
Distribution and habitat
It is a species widespread throughout the Mediterranean Sea and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean between the Strait of Gibraltar and Angola. In Italian seas it is common everywhere.
It pops backdrops of thin sand between 2 and 400 meters of depth and it meets frequently in very low waters.
It has the typical flat appearance of flat fish with both eyes on the left side of the body, which is very wide. The lateral line has a double curve in its most forward part. The mouth is small and carried on a short protruding snout; the mandible is longer than the jaw. There is a clear sexual dimorphism: the male has very distant eyes and a flat frontal profile. Even in the female, however, the eyes are not close.
The livery can be sand-colored with irregular and shaded dark patches or darker with dark ocellated spots with a clear, well-defined center. The latter coloration is more common in males.
It can reach a length of 40 cm but usually does not exceed 20 cm.
It feeds on benthic invertebrates and small fish.
It reproduces in spring-summer; the eggs and larvae are pelagic. The right eye migrates to a length of about 3 cm, when the larva has red spots at the base of the dorsal fin and the anal fin.