Dab (Limanda limanda)
|Researched by||Ana Ruiz||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandThe dab is one of Britain's commonest flatfish, occurring all round Britain and Ireland and is particularly abundant in the North Sea.
HabitatDab live in sandy areas from the shore down to 150 m but are most common between 20-40 m. The young live close inshore, usually in less than 1 m of water and the adults migrate inshore from deeper water in the warmer summer months.
- Very distinct curve in the lateral line, which is strongly arched into a semi-circular curve over the pectoral fin.
- No bony tubercles anywhere on the skin (plaice has a row of four to seven bony knobs running between the eyes to the gill opening).
- The skin is rough on upper side (plaice and flounder feel smooth).
- The pectoral fin is sometimes orange.
Additional informationSpawning depends on water temperature and therefore on latitude but is in spring and early summer around Britain. Dab will eat almost any bottom-living animal they catch. This includes brittlestars, small sea urchins, fish, worms, crustaceans and molluscs. The dab has a characteristic method of feeding (which it shares with the lemon sole). The fish raises its head and front part of the body up over a suitable site and waits for a prey to emerge. It then strikes rapidly down and bites it. In spite of their small size, they are a popular food fish with a good flavour and are moderately important commercially. They are caught in trawls and seine nets.
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Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, 2017. NBIS Records to December 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jca5lo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.
OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System), 2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2023-11-30
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Last Updated: 17/04/2008