Crested Flounders
By Seishi Kimura

Samaris cristatus

Small sized marine flatfishes; maximum size less than 22 cm. Body somewhat elongated, strongly compressed. Both eyes on right side of head. Mouth small, reaching to almost anterior margin of lower eye. Preopercular margin distinct. Dorsalfin origin anterior to anterior margin of upper eye; all fins without spines; caudal fin apart from dorsal and anal fins; pectoral fin present on eyed side, but absent on eyeless side; pelvic fins symmetrical. Lateral line well developed or rudimentary. Color: body on eyed side brownish, usually with dark spots, blotches, or rings; eyeless side of body whitish.

Similar families occurring in the area. Samaridae is distinguished from other Indo-Pacific flatfish families in having eyes on right side of head, no fin spines, dorsal-fin origin anterior to eyes, dorsal and anal fins not connecting with caudal fin, symmetrical pelvic-fin bases, and no pectoral fin on eyeless side. Psettodidae: dorsal-fin origin posterior to posterior margin of upper eye; anterior rays of dorsal and anal fins spinous; lateral line without high arch over pectoral fin. Cithalidae: pelvic fins with I spine. Paralichthyidae and Bothidae: eyes on left side of head. Pleuronectidae: dorsal-fin origin above eyes; pectoral fin present on eyeless side of body.