A case of partial albinism in the yellow-belly flounder, Rhombosolea leporina Günther, 1862 (Pleuronectiformes: Pleuronectidae) collected from Manukau Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand


  • Laith A. Jawad Manukau, Auckland




abnormality, flatfish, vertebral deformity, albino specimen


A partial albino specimen of Rhombosolea leporina with a total length of 295 mm was collected from Manukau Harbour, south of Auckland City, New Zealand. This is the first record of abnormal pigmentation in the wild yellow-belly flounder from New Zealand waters. The specimen is patterned with a white blotch on the caudal peduncle area of the ocular side. Causes for such colour aberration are discussed.


Archey G, 1924. An abnormally coloured specimen of the yellowbelly (Rhombosolea millari Waite). N.Z. J. Sci. Tech. 6: 342.

Barton D, 2010. Flatfish (Pleuronectiformes) chromatic biology. Rev. Fish Biol. Fish. 20: 31-46.

Bolker J & Hill CR, 2000. Pigmentation development in hatchery-reared flatfishes. J. Fish Biol. 56: 1029–1052.

Burton D, 2002. The physiology of flatfish chromatophores. Microsc. Res. Tech. 58: 481–487.

Chaves PT, Gomes I D, Ferreira EA, Aguiar KD & Sirigate P, 2002. Ambicoloration in the flatfish Symphurus tessellatus (Cynoglossidae) from southern Brazil. Acta Biol. Parana., Curitiba, 31 (1-4): 59-63.

Colman JA, 1972. Abnormal pigmentation in the sand flounder. N. Z. J. Mar. fresh. Res. 6: 208-213.

Dawson CE, 1967. Three new records of partial albinism in American Heterosomata. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 96: 400-404.

Díaz De Astarloa JM, 1995. Ambicoloration in two flounders, Paralichthys patagonicus and Xystreuris rasile. J. Fish Biol. 47: 168-170.

Díaz De Astarloa JM, 1998. An ambicolorate flounder Paralichthys isosceles (Pleuronecti-formes: Paralichthyidae), collected off Península Valdez (Argentina). Cybium 22: 187-191.

Francis M, 2012. Coastal fishes of New Zealand. Craig Potton Publishing, New Zealand.

Gartner JV, 1986. Observations on anomalous conditions in some flatfishes (Pisces: Pleuronectiformes), with a new record of partial albinism. Environ. Biol. Fish. 17: 141–152.

Hamre K, Holen E & Moren M, 2007. Pigmentation and eye migration in Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L) larvae: new findings and hypothesis. Aquacult. Nutr. 13: 65–80.

Hernández VA & Sinovcic G, 1987. A note on a partial albino specimen of the species Liza (Liza) ramada (Risso, 1826) caught from the middle Adriatic. Institut Za Oceanog. Ribarstvo 68: 1-4.

Jawad LA, 2013. A reported case of malpigmentation in the spangled emperor Lethrinus nebulosus (Forsskål, 1775) collected from the Arabian Sea Coasts of Oman. Thalassia Salentina 35: 29-35.

Jawad LA & Al-Kharusi LH, 2013. A reported case of abnormal pigmentation in the Epaulet grouper Epinephelus stoliczkae (Day, 1875) collected from the Sea of Oman. Anales Biología 35: 41-44.

Jawad LA, Ahyong ST & Hosie A, 2007. Malformation of the lateral line and ambico-louration in the triplefin Grahamina capito (Jenyns, 1842) (Pisces: Tripterygiidae) from New Zealand. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Ferrara 9/10: 89- 97.

Maciera RM, Joyeux J.-C & Pereira CL, 2006. Ambicolouration and morphological aberration in the sole Achirus declivis (Pleuronectiformes: Achiridae) and two other cases of colour abnormalities in a chrid soles from south eastern Brazil. Neot. Ichthyol. 4: 287-290.

Mills MG & Patterson LB, L.B. 2009. Not just black and white: pigment pattern development and evolution in vertebrates. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 20: 72–81.

Purchase CF, Boyce DL & Brown JA, 2002. Occurrence of hypomelanization in cultured yellowtail flounder Limanda ferruginea. Aquacult. Res. 33: 1191-1193.

Sugimoto M & Oshima N, 2002. Introduction: biology of pigment cells in fish. Microsc. Res. Tech. 58: 433–434.

Venizelos A & Benetti DD, 1999. Pigment abnormalities in flatfish. Aquacult. 176: 181-188.

Yamad Y, Okauchi M & Araki K, 2010. Origin of adult-type pigment cells forming asymmetric pigment patter in Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus). Dev. Dyn. 239: 3147–3162.




How to Cite

Jawad, L. A. (2020). A case of partial albinism in the yellow-belly flounder, Rhombosolea leporina Günther, 1862 (Pleuronectiformes: Pleuronectidae) collected from Manukau Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand. Belgian Journal of Zoology, 144(1). https://doi.org/10.26496/bjz.2014.62