The true soles are a family, Soleidae, of flatfishes. It includes saltwater and brackish water species in the East Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and West and Central Pacific Ocean. Freshwater species are found in Africa, southern Asia, New Guinea, and Australia.
In the past, soles of the Americas (both fresh and salt water) were included in this family, but they have been separated to their own family, the American soles (Achiridae). The only true sole remaining in that region is Aseraggodes herrei of the Galápagos and Cocos Island.
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) sides on the sea floor, often covered in mud, which in combination with their dark colours, makes them hard to spot.
A flatfish resembling a small halibut or sole was observed by the Bathyscaphe Trieste at the bottom of the Mariana Trench at a depth around 11 km (36,000 ft). This observation has been questioned by fish experts, and recent authorities do not recognize it as valid.
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- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). "Soleidae" in FishBase. December 2012 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Aseraggodes herrei" in FishBase. May 2014 version.
- BBC News (23 February 2012). Meet the only man alive who has been to the deepest ocean.. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- Jamieson, A.J., and Yancey, P. H. (2012). On the Validity of the Trieste Flatfish: Dispelling the Myth. The Biological Bulletin 222(3): 171-175