Trinectes inscriptus

Common Name

Scrawled Sole

Year Described

Gosse, 1851


Dorsal Fin: 51-55
Anal Fin: 39-41
Pectoral Fin: 1-3 (rudimentary)
Pelvic Fin: 4 on ocular side, 5 on blind side (continuous with anal fin)

Nearly circular in body shape. Body and dorsal/anal fins with small ctenoid scales. Skin not loose. Mouth tiny and subterminal. Jaws with villiform teeth on blind side of jaws only. Eyes relatively large. Opercular opening very small, interbranchial foramen absent. Fimbriae present on mouth margin, blind side of head, and anterior dorsal/anal fin rays. No cirri on body.


Tan with a network of dark reticulations over the entire body (often coalescing into several random diffuse blotches). Dorsal and anal fins also with same pattern. Tail clear to pale yellowish, with no markings. Blind side yellowish, darkening toward the margins.


Common to 10cm SL. Maximum size to 15cm SL.


Coastal waters: estuaries, mangrove lagoons, or clear waters over sand bottoms.


S. Florida, throughout the Caribbean islands from Cuba to the Lesser Antilles, to Venezuela.


McEachran, J.D. and J.D. Fechhelm. 2005. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 2: Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii +1-1004.

Munroe, T.A. 2002. Achiridae (pp 1925-1933). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 3: Bony fishes part 2 (Opistognathidae to Molidae), sea turtles and sea mammals. FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5.