BLINDED BY THE WHITE

Sport Fishing - - FISH FACTS -

My son and his girl­friend were fish­ing near Matagorda, Texas, when she caught this floun­der with its nor­mally white un­der­side par­tially col­ored brown like the fish’s two-eyed up­per side. I have never seen or heard of this and was won­der­ing how rare a catch it was. Buddy Toepfer Cor­pus Christi, Texas

Pig­ment in floun­der is de­ter­mined very early in devel­op­ment. When floun­der meta­mor­phose as lar­vae, the pig­ment cells un­dergo a tran­si­tion as well, nor­mally mi­grat­ing to the eyed side (the “up” side of a floun­der — the side with both eyes). On rare oc­ca­sions, some cells mys­te­ri­ously mi­grate to the blind side (the “down,” nor­mally white, side with no eyes). I’ve seen a few floun­der par­tially pig­mented this way, but it’s cer­tainly a rare oc­cur­rence. —Bob Shipp

Floun­der

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