Megrims: Characteristics, habitats, types and more

Let´s learn all about Megrims, whiff or Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis in scientific which are flat fish very similar to Rooster fish.

Taxonomy

Class:  Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish)  Order: Pleuronectiformes (Flatfishes)  Family:  Scophthalmidae Genus:  Lepidorhombus

Main Characteristics of the Megrims

The Megrims are flat fish very similar to Rooster fish , although these two species aren´t related at all. In fact, they don´t belong to the same genus, since Megrims belong to the genus   Lepidorhombus. In addition, they owe their name to their striking and upright dorsal fin, which has certain filamentous extensions that resemble a rooster crest.

Anatomy

Megrims are relatively narrow-bodied, left-eyed flatfish with a moderately large head and large eyes and mouth. They measure around 40 cm in length and weigh around 5 kg. However, the most distinctive trait of their anatomy relies on their eyes, which are located on their left side, both separated by a bony crest (the lower one is ahead the upper one).

Their lower jaw has a thorn and is slightly longer than the upper one. In terms of body color it´s worth to point out, that their blind side’s color is usually cream, while the ocular side adapts to the place where they are.

megrims: characteristic anatomy

Habitat

The megrims inhabit the ocean floor around thousand meters deep, at the sandy banks very close to the reefs. Their main distribution areas are the north-east Atlantic, the western Mediterranean and the Cantabrian Sea.

These fish can remain most of their time in the depths of the oceans without surfacing, due to their gill system which allows them to be within certain depths without any inconveniences. They are nomadic fish, which spend most of their time in the bottoms of the oceans, making it easy to locate them. In very few occasions they change habitat, and when they do it is due to the predator’s stalking.

What Do Megrims Feed On?

They are predators that feed on small fish, squid and crustaceans. In turn, megrims are prey of larger species such as sharks, seals and large cod.

How Do Megrims Reproduce?

This is a dioic species (there are males and females)  that reproduces through  external fertilization. The laying of eggs takes place mainly in spring near the coast and at a shallow depth. The juvenile megrims are symmetrical and live near the surface, although they change during this pelagic stage becoming asymmetric.

There comes a time when they submerge to the bottom of their habitats, where they remain  until they are two years old. Then  they travel to the coast when spring arrives and return to the bottom of the ocean during the winter.  In the Mediterranean, the reproduction occurs during winter and ends in April, while in the Atlantic it extends until June. The eggs and larvae are pelagic. The migration of the eye to the left side of their bodies begins when they reach 10 millimeters in length since at birth, they have normally arranged eyes.

 

Four-spot megrim (Lepidorhombus boscii)

This species has an anatomy very similar to that of the Megrims since their body is elongated and flat, they measure around 40 centimeters with an approximate weight of 4 to 5 kilograms. However, this species has four rounded dark spots, scattered on the dorsal and back fins, with tiny little bright scales. They inhabit the North and Mediterranean Sea and the waters of the northeastern Atlantic at depths between 100 and 400 mts.  They are also known as glass turbot since their flesh is translucent, almost transparent.

The Commercial Value of Megrims

The megrims are commercially valuable especially in Europe. They are captured using bottom trawling, and then distributed in fish shop. France and Spain are the largest consumers of this species, and most of the megrims  that are captured in British waters are exported to these countries. However, in Britain there has been an impulse for people to eat this species more often as a way to relieve the pressure of overexploited fish such as cod and haddock. These fish  can be cooked in several different ways

Bon appétit

 

 

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