Medium sized marine flatfishes; maximum size about 80 cm. Body oval, strongly compressed, but somewhat thick. Both eyes on right or left side of head; upper eye on dorsal contour of head. Mouth large, superior, extending beyond posterior margin of lower eye; supramaxilla well developed. Jaw teeth large, canine-like with barbed tips; vomer and palatines with minute teeth. Preopercular margin visible, not covered with skin. Dorsalfin origin well posterior to posterior margin of upper eye; anterior rays of dorsal and anal fins spinous; caudal fin apart from dorsal and anal fins; with ca. 15 branched fin rays; pectoral fins on both sides nearly equal in length; pelvic fins nearly symmetrical, with I spine and 5 soft rays. Lateral lines developed on both sides of body, slightly curved above pectoral fin, with a branch below lower eye but no supratemporal branch. Vertebrae usually 10+14. Color: body on eyed side brownish; eyeless side of body whitish or pale brown.|
Similar families occurring in the area. Psettodidae is distinguished from other Indo-Pacific flatfish families in having dorsal- and anal-fin spines, and dorsal-fin origin well posterior to upper eye. Citharidae: dorsalfin origin anterior to posterior margin of upper eye; lateral line with high arch over pectoral fin. Paralichthyidae: dorsal-fin origin anterior to posterior margin of upper eye; no fin spines; lateral line with high arch over pectoral fin with supratemporal branch; eyes in most species on left side of body. Bothidae: dorsal-fin origin anterior to anterior margin of upper eye; no fin spines; lateral line with high arch over pectoral fin with no branch below lower eye; eyes in most species on left side of body. Samaridae and Pleuronectidae: dorsal-fin origin anterior to posterior margin of upper eye; no fin spines; eyes in most species on right side of body.
Remarks. Occurring in coastal waters of western Africa and Indo-West Pacific. Feeds on fishes. A single genus, Psettodes, with one species in Indo-West Pacific and two in western Africa. Food fish.