Smallhead Sole Click to enlarge image
A Smallhead Sole at Camp Cove, Sydney, February 2000. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    microcephalus
    Genus
    Soleichthys
    Family
    Soleidae
    Order
    Pleuronectiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 22 cm in length.

Introduction

The Smallhead Sole is known only from harbours and estuaries of New South Wales, it is grey-green to brown with dark bands, and has a blue and black margin to the fins. The juvenile colour pattern mimics a species of flatworm.

Identification

The Smallhead Sole can be recognised by its distinctive colouration. It is grey-green to brown with dark bands, and has a blue and black margin to the fins. It has papillae on the snout, raised eyes, and nostrils on the tip of a long tube.

Juvenile Smallhead Sole differ in colour from the adults. They are white with a black and orange margin. This colour pattern mimics a species of flatworm.

Habitat

The species occurs in depths from 3 m to 20 m.

Distribution

The Smallhead Sole is only known from harbours and estuaries of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



References

  1. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437. (as Aesopia microcephala)
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433. (as Aesopia microcephala)