Rhombosolea tapirina

Greenback flounder
Rhombosolea tapirina
Rhombosolea tapirina, adult, Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Temperate Australasia


Blotchy green-brown pattern, pointed head, and hooked snout. It is the only flatfish in southern Australia that is large and abundant enough to be commercially exploited. The largest animals are generally found on sand in the deeper channels of estuaries, but they are also plentiful on sandflats, mudflats, and the lower reaches of rivers. Juveniles live on sandflats in water less than a metre deep. Although often seen to remain stationary for long periods, greenback flounder tend to capture polychaetes and other prey by digging rather than waiting as an ambush predator.


Max Size: 45 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 9.6-20.1°C

Depth: 0-100 m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Rare (0.8% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney