Fun Gulf Flounder Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 04, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Gulf flounder facts on the saltwater fish seen in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.

Flounder fish are divided into two categories namely, the right-eyed and the left-eyed families. The gulf flounder is a left-eyed flounder i.e. its eyes are located on the left side. They are also known by their scientific name Paralichthys albiguttata. The Gulf flounder or Paralichthys albigutta, are carnivorous fish that feeds on smaller fishes, shrimp, and crustaceans.

These fish are found in sandy bottoms, tidal creeks, rocky reefs, bays, coast and offshore waters in North Carolina, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Texas. They are in popular demand in marine fisheries as they are sold for the purpose of human consumption.

Flounder fish are considered excellent in nutritional value and also offer a great taste to those who consume them. They are classified as Least Concern by the IUCN red list.

They are light olive-brown to dark brown. They have the ability to change their color to match the bottom of the water body they reside in.

These species are often confused with the summer flounder. For more relatable content, check out giant grouper facts and olive flounder facts.


Gulf Flounder Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Gulf flounder?

The Gulf flounder, Paralichthys albigutta, is a type of fish that belongs to the kingdom Animalia and order Pleuronectiformes.

What class of animal does a Gulf flounder belong to?

The Gulf flounder, Paralichthys albigutta, is a type of fish that belongs to class Actinopterygii, family Paralichthyidae, and genus Paralichthys.

How many Gulf flounders are there in the world?

Gulf flounders' exact population in the world is not known. The right-eyed family contains 100 species and the left-eyed family contains 240 species. They are classified as Least Concern species by the IUCN red list. These fishes are often confused with the summer flounder.

Where does a Gulf flounder live?

Gulf flounders are seen in oceans including the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They prefer residing in waters with increased salinity. They are seen in North Carolina, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Texas. Flounders are found in the Gulf of Mexico.

What is a Gulf flounder's habitat?

The Gulf flounder's habitat constitutes of sandy bottoms, tidal creeks, rocky reefs, bays, offshore waters, and coastal regions. They reside in the same habitat for most of their life. They are a popular choice of marine fisheries. Southern flounder lives in similar habitats. They prefer summer over other climates.

Who do Gulf flounders live with?

Gulf flounders live with their own kind of species as well as solitary individuals. They coexist with other marine fishes in water bodies and other places. Southern flounder lives in similar live in the same range as these fishes. They prefer summer over other climates.

How long does a Gulf flounder live?

Gulf flounders live up to three years. They may live longer depending on their habitat, diet, and other factors. Other species of flounder like the southern flounder have longer lifespans. They are seen in North Carolina, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Texas.

How do they reproduce?

The Gulf flounder breeding season occurs from November to January. Gulf flounder spawning occurs offshore in depths of 60-200 ft (18.3-61 m). The spawning occurs in shallow waters. Females are known to lay 17,000-100,000 eggs per clutch size.

Large female fishes may spawn more. They go through a process of metamorphosis where they develop from the larval stage into fished with one eye on one side. As they develop into the juvenile stages the eye migrated to the other side of the face.

What is their conservation status?

Gulf flounders are classified as Least Concern by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature IUCN red list of Threatened species.

Gulf Flounder Fun Facts

What do Gulf flounders look like?

Gulf flounders are identified by their three prominent large dark eye spots placed in a triangular formation. Two spots are placed towards the middle of their bodies and one towards the end just before the beginning of their tail.

Apart from these three spots, they have various other spots which are not as prominent. They have a streamlined body that facilitates their movement along with a tail. Their tail is relatively short as compared to their body size.

The gulf flounders have an olive-brown color and they can change color similar to the base of the water body i.e. mud floor hence, they are similar to a chameleon. These fish are popularly known as chameleons of the water body.

They have fins both on the top and bottom of their bodies. Both the southern flounder and the gulf flounder are flatfishes.

Three prominent large dark eye spots fish

*Please note that this image is of a flowery flounder, not a Gulf flounder. If you have an image of a Gulf flounder please let us know at

How cute are they?

These fish species are not ideally cute however, they are exotic species and capable of changing color like to blend into the base of the water which is a unique and magical ability possessed by these fishes. You could spot them in North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and other nearby regions. They are identified by their three prominent spots.

How do they communicate?

Flounder fish are known to communicate using pheromones and chemical means of communication.  They communicate primarily when they spawn and during other aspects.

How big is a Gulf flounder?

The Gulf flounder female is 18 in (45.72 cm) in length and the male is 10-14 in (25.4 -35.56 cm) in length which is 50 times bigger than the smallest fish in the world dwarf minnow which measures 0.31 in (7.9 mm). The Southern flounder a similar species is larger in size as compared to the gulf flounder.

How fast can a Gulf flounder swim?

The exact speed of the Gulf flounder fish is not evaluated but they can traverse at relatively good speeds. Sailfish is the fastest fish in the world. In the initial stages of their life, they have an eye located on the left side but as they grow it moves to the other side.

How much does a Gulf flounder weigh?

A Gulf flounder's exact weight is 1-6 lb (0.45-2.72 kg). The heaviest flounder was a summer flounder which weighed 20 lb (9.07 kg) and was named fluke.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female species are not addressed differently. They differ slightly in length and also differ in reproductive functions.

What would you call a baby Gulf flounder?

The baby Gulf flounder can be called a fry. Baby flounder is small in size and develops through a metamorphosis process. The young develop by themselves and are parents are scarcely involved in raising the young.  

What do they eat?

The Gulf flounder is a carnivore and feeds on small fish, pumpkinseed sunfish, shrimp, blue crab, and crustaceans. They are ambush predators and hide in the water and land surfaces when they are ready to feed in order to attack possible predators. Predators of these fishes include common dolphins, sharks, and other larger marine fishes.

Are they poisonous?

No, these fish are not poisonous. Flounders are healthy and popular marine fish consumed by many people around the world. They do contain a high level of mercury which can be dangerous if consumed in excess amounts. Similar is the case with southern flounder fish.

Would they make a good pet?

Flounder fish are seen in coastal regions and inshore regions. They can be kept in large aquariums. They should, however, not be placed with smaller varieties of fish since they can act as predators to the same. They are long in length hence they need to be kept in appropriate sized tanks.

Did you know...

National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day is celebrated on 18 February. They are a popular choice of consumption not only for marine species as well as humans.

Industrial pollution has majorly impacted their populations. Leading to a major threat to these fish species.

Flounder fish are game fishes i.e. a fish caught by anglers in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and other coastal and inshore regions in and around the world.

Catching Gulf flounders

The best time of the year to catch these fish is from September to November when they migrate. Catching Gulf flounder is easy as long as you follow the following step. If you are fishing for the first time it's a good idea to identify water bodies that have the range map to find a flounder.

They can be found in neat coastal and inshore regions. Coast regions are preferred.

Saltwater bodies are more preferred. These fishes are bottom-dwelling species hence you need to carry equipment which you can use to reach them easily. It's essential to look for flounder tracks.

Finally, before fishing, it's essential to set a bait. They are caught by hook and line during fishing. Bait could be shrimp or any other material which may attract these fish species.

Southern flounder and Gulf flounder can be caught in similar ways since they inhabit the same regions. They are best known for their abilities to hide and camouflage themselves hence it's a good idea to fish with skilled fishermen. They are medium-sized fishes hence ensure you get a hook and line which is long in length.

The Gulf flounder's survival skills

The Gulf flounder fish has one of the most skillful survival skills which is its ability to camouflage itself in a similar color to the ground/mud. They use this skill both to escape from predators as well as to catch possible prey.

They also have the ability to hide skillfully so much so that it's difficult to spot them. Humans catch them using hook and line in which they set a bait while fishing. Fish caught are used for consumption.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our brown trout facts and swai fish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable gulf flounder coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of a Twospot flounder, not a Gulf flounder. If you have an image of a Gulf flounder please let us know at

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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