The true soles are a family, Soleidae, of flatfishes, and include species that live in salt water and fresh water. They are bottom-dwelling fishes feeding on small crustaceans and other invertebrates. Other flatfishes are also known as soles.

Soles begin life as bilaterally symmetric larvae, with an eye on each side of the head. But during development the left eye moves around onto the right side of the head. Adult soles lie on their left (blind) side on the sea floor, often covered in mud which, in combination with their dark colours, makes them hard to spot.

Soles (along with flounders) were observed by the Bathyscaphe Trieste at the bottom of the Mariana Trench at a depth of 35,798 feet (10,911 m).

Many soles are important food species: the common sole, Solea solea, is popular in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.


FishBase lists 135 species in 28 genera but comments, "The taxonomy of this family needs revision.


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