Selected Characters: Body compressed, teardrop-shaped; eyes sinistral; caudal pointed, confluent with dorsal and anal fins; eyes small, close together; mouth small.
Tonguefishes are flatfishes which usually live on the muddy bottom at shallow or moderate depths. Juvenile tonguefishes swim upright, but undergo metamorphosis early in their development, in which the right eye migrates to the left side of the head and the fish begins to swim on its side at the bottom. Tonguefishes are found mostly in tropical and subtropical seas; a few species are found in freshwater. Most cynoglossids are less than 30 cm long. There are about 110 species in this family. The California Tonguefish is a very rare visitor to Puget Sound, associated with El Niño events.
Puget Sound Species
Symphurus atricauda California Tonguefish