Speckled Sand Dab

Speckled Sand Dab

Citharichthys stigmaeus

Physical Description

The Speckled Sand Dab, scientifically known as Citharichthys stigmaeus, is a diminutive flatfish, reaching a maximum size of only 13 centimeters. It is characterized by its left-eyed orientation, a distinguishing feature among flatfish species. Its pectoral fin is relatively short, measuring less than the distance from its base to the eye. The body coloration of the Speckled Sand Dab varies from tan to brown, adorned with dark speckles and spots. Additionally, it boasts a straight lateral line, contributing to its streamlined appearance.


Found exclusively on sandy bottoms, the Speckled Sand Dab is a master of camouflage. Its coloration allows it to blend seamlessly with its surroundings, making it difficult to spot by both predators and prey alike. This adaptive camouflage enables the Speckled Sand Dab to evade detection and ambush unsuspecting prey while remaining concealed from potential threats.

Geographical Range

The Speckled Sand Dab inhabits a vast geographical range, spanning from southeast Alaska to southern Baja California along the eastern Pacific coast. Within this range, it occupies sandy substrates, where it has evolved to thrive in its specialized habitat.

What They Eat

As an opportunistic feeder, the Speckled Sand Dab preys upon a variety of small crustaceans, mollusks, and other benthic invertebrates found within its sandy habitat. Its flattened body shape and cryptic coloration allow it to lie in wait for passing prey, swiftly striking when an opportunity presents itself.