Lemon sole (Microstomus kitt)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Microstomus kitt is a moderately sized flatfish reaching up to 30 cm (rarely up to 45 cm) in length. It lies left-handed with its eyes on the left side of its body and is therefore not a member of the sole family. It has a deep oval body with a small head and a very small mouth. It has a lateral line with only a slight curve above the pectoral fin. The dorsal and anal fins are smoothly curved and reach as far back as the tail. The eye side is marbled brown to grey in colour often spotted or blotched with both paler and darker marks.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widely distributed through the British Isles and Ireland but most commonly found in the English Channel and Irish Sea.

Global distribution



The lemon sole is a demersal species usually found on stony bottoms from depths of 20 m to 200 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Deep oval body up to 30 cm in length.
  • Left-handed with a small head and very small mouth.
  • Smoothly curved dorsal and anal fins.
  • No space between tail fin and dorsal and anal fins.
  • Pelvic fin close to the anal fin.
  • Marbled colouration with both darker and paler blotches.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -


  1. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2008-02-18

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


  1. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.ukl accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  2. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  3. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/7axhcw accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  4. Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre, 2017. Fish: Records for Kent.. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/kd1utk accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  6. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-06-12


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Microstomus kitt Lemon sole. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 12-06-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/164

Last Updated: 02/06/2008