Limanda limanda - Dab

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Actinopterygii - Order: Pleuronectiformes - Family: Pleuronectidae


The dab in this picture has partly buried itself in sand, so that you cannot see easily where the sea bed finishes and the fish starts: a useful defence strategy for a relatively small fish.

Dabs are often caught by anglers fishing inshore waters. They are good to eat, and on light tackle they can give quite good sport. These flatfish are instantly recognisable by a very strongly curved lateral line that rises over the pectoral fin on the 'eyed' side of the fish, a rough skin texture and a mass of darker speckles on the sandy-brown background. The underside is white.

A dab can grow up to 35cm (14 inches) long, reaching maturity when two or three years old and around 15cm long.

The Welsh rod-caught record, caught in 1936 near Port Talbot in South Wales, weighed 3lb 9oz (approx. 1.6kg).

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