European Plaice Pleuronectes platessa

European Plaice

  Cold and temperate sea fish

European Plaice Pleuronectes platessa

Identity card

European Plaice

Scientific name:
Pleuronectes platessa
Family:
Pleuronectidae
Class:
Actinopterygii
Phylum:
Chordata
Year of description:
Linnaeus, 1758
IUCN Status:
Least Concern
CITES-status:

Not Evaluated

Distribution:

Waters of the north-east Atlantic, as well as in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the White Sea.

Habitat:

Benthic animal down to a depth of 120 metres.

Size:

European plaice measure between 25 and 45 cm on average but can grow to 95 cm.

Diet:

Bivalve molluscs and polychaetes

Longevity:

50 years

European Plaice Pleuronectes platessa
 

Male plaice reach their sexual maturity between 2 and 6 years of age, (females betw. 3 and 7).

A female can lay between 50,000 and 500,000 eggs.

While the larvae of European plaice feed mainly on plankton, adult plaice prefer bivalve molluscs and polychaetes. Larger individuals also eat small crabs, echinoderms and even fish.

Did you know?

Where is the animal to be found?

Plaice are benthic animals, i.e. they live close to the seabed, on sand, mud or gravel, typically down to a depth of 120 metres. Although it is regarded as being sedentary, it migrates seasonally following the tidal currents.

Waters of the north-east Atlantic, from northern Norway, as well as from Greenland (rare) as far as Morocco; also present in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the White Sea.

How can it be recognised?

This flatfish is said to be "right-eyed"; this means that, as it lives on the seabed, its right side is the one that can be seen. Furthermore, its eyes and mouth are on the same side: the right side!

It has large orange spots on its dorsal side and lives mainly on sandy bottoms. Plaice measure between 25 and 45 cm on average but can grow to 95 cm.

What is distinctive about it?

Like all flatfish, European plaice, also known as simply plaice, is an easy prey for predators. Its advantage? Its camouflage system that enables it to blend in with the substrate (soil) on which it lives.

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?

Mankind and shores

European Plaice Pleuronectes platessa

Cold and temperate sea fish

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