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Developmental stages of eye migration in the larva from a symmetrical larva with an eye on each side of the head to the metamorphosed specimen with both eyes on same side of the head. (Illustration by Amanda Humphrey)

Developmental stages of eye migration in the larva from a symmetrical larva with an eye on each side of the head to the metamorphosed specimen with both eyes on same side of the head. (Illustration by Amanda Humphrey)

morphological asymmetries, as found in other flatfishes; there are both dextral and sinistral individuals in populations. These fishes are recognized easily by the posterior location of the dorsal fin, which does not advance onto the cranium anterior to the eyes; by spines in the dorsal and anal fins; by large mouths with specialized teeth; and by nearly rounded bodies without the obvious bilateral asymmetry in the lateral musculature that is evident in other flatfishes.

The Pleuronectoidei contains all of the more familiar flatfishes. At present, 13 families of pleuronectoid flatfishes are recognized, with Tephrinectes also representing a distinct lineage of uncertain status within the order. Phylogenetic relationships of some families and subfamilies and the monophyly of others (e.g., Paralichthyidae) are uncertain and in need of further study. Family groups within this suborder are the Citharidae, Scophthalmidae, Bothidae, Paralichthyidae, Pleu-ronectidae, Paralichthodidae, Poecilopsettidae, Rhombosolei-dae, Achiropsettidae, Samaridae, Achiridae, Soleidae, and Cynoglossidae.

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