The gulf ﬂounder is a member of the Bothidae family of left-eyed ﬂounder and is an excellent table ﬁsh. It is one of the smaller ﬁsh in a large group of important sport and commercial ﬂounder. Because of its size, the gulf ﬂounder is of minor economic signiﬁcance, and it is mixed in commercial and sport catches with summer flounder and southern ﬂounder.
IdentificationThe gulf flounder has the familiar olive-brown background of its relatives, the summer and the southern ﬂounder, but it has three characteristic ocellated spots forming a triangle on its eye side. One spot is above the lateral line, one below, and one on the middle, although these spots can become obscure in larger ﬁsh.
Numerous white spots are scattered over the body and the fins (albigutta means “white-spotted”), and the caudal fin is in the shape of a wedge, with the tip in the middle. This species has 53 to 63 anal rays, which is fewer than the 63 to 73 found on the southern ﬂounder. Like other ﬂatﬁsh, the gulf ﬂounder can change color dramatically to match the bottom.