American Soles (Achiridae)

American sole silhouette.

A small family limited to marine waters of the Western Hemisphere. American soles, like other “flatfishes,” have a very flattened body. The skull is asymmetrical, with eyes on same side of head. American soles are “right-facing” flatfishes (eyes are on the right side). They have long, many-rayed dorsal and anal fins that extend over much of the body length. Pectoral fins are rudimentary or absent. One native estuarine/marine species can be found in fresh waters of Connecticut.

Click on the species name below to learn more.

Hogchoker (Trinectes maculatus) - Native



A marine flounder species, the winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus, family Pleuronectidae), often inhabits estuaries and occasionally enters fresh water of coastal streams. Also a right-facing flatfish, the winter flounder can be distinguished from a hogchoker by the presence of pectoral fins and a dorsal fin that does not reach to the tip of the snout.


Text and images adapted from Jacobs, R. P., O'Donnell, E. B., and Connecticut DEEP. (2009). A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. Hartford, CT. Available for purchase at the DEEP Store.