Finless Sole


Name: Finless Sole

Local name: Khofha

Scientific name: Pardachirus marmoratus

Classification: Class: ray-finned fishes; Order: flatfishes; Family: soles (Soleidae)

Size: It attains about 20 cm in total length.


This species inhabits shallow coastal waters, occurring on sand bottoms near coral areas from 1 m down to a depth of 25 m. During the day, it is often buried in sand with only the eyes and nostrils exposed. It feeds mainly on bottom living invertebrates. The bases of the dorsal and anal fin rays contain glands that produce a strong toxin, which deters predators, and has been proposed to be used as a shark repellent.


The Finless Sole is restricted to the Western Indian Ocean, occurring from the Red Sea and eastern Africa in the west, to Sri Lanka in the east.

Conservation status:

It has not yet been assessed globally by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In a regional assessment for the Arabian Gulf it was classified as Least Concern (LC).


Adults are not bilaterally symmetrical, and with growth the left eye migrates to the right side of the head. The body is highly compressed, somewhat rounded on eyed side and flat on eyeless side. The caudal fin is rounded and separated from the dorsal and anal fin. The coloration is variable, often whitish, pale brown to pale grey with scattered irregular dark brown rings and numerous dark brown dots on the head, body, and fins. On the lateral line, there are often two brown spots containing yellow flecks.