Otolith shape is oval and pointed with rounded points at the posterior end. The sulcus runs over more than half the length of the otolith and is open at the ostium, narrow and deep. In some specimens the otolith is thicker along the edges of the sulcus. Ostium and cauda are well distinguishable and separated. Ostium is longer than cauda. The cauda is deeper than the ostium. The surface of the inside and margins are smooth with some irregularity around the sulcus. The outside of the otolith is smooth. The rostrum of the otolith is small compared to other flatfish otoliths and rounded. A small rounded antirostrum is visible in fresh otoliths. The inside and outside of the otolith are both convex. The otolith is thick. Scaldfish is a small fish and otoliths are not larger than 4 mm.
Scaldfish otoliths are sometimes difficult to distinguish from otoliths of lemon sole Microstomus kitt. Otoliths of scaldfish are more square than are lemon sole otoliths. The sulcus and ostium and cauda are better developed in lemon sole otoliths than in otoliths of scaldfish.
When eroded the rostrum becomes more rounded and the antirostrum is no longer visible. The sulcus becomes less distinct with progressing erosion. The thickness of the otolith does not change noticeably.
On otoliths of 0-group scaldfish the sulcus is hardly visible. The rostrum is more rounded in smaller ones and the antirostrum is indistinct.
Fish length and distribution
Scaldfish can grow up to 20 cm. Scaldfish is a small bottom-living flatfish (ARNOLATE.TIF) that is found on sandy bottoms in depths up to 60 m. (Wheeler, 1978, Nijssen and De Groot, 1987). It spawns from May to August (Nijssen and De Groot, 1987, Witte et al., 1991, Muus et al., 1999).
Scaldfish can be found near the shores in the NE Atlantic and Southern North Sea.
Southern North Sea.