Scophthalmus maximus – Turbot

Scophthalmus maximus or the Turbot can be 80 to 100 cm long. They can weigh up to 25 kg. They are bred commercially for consumption.

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Scophthalmus maximus – Turbot

The Turbot or Scophthalmus maximus by its scientific name, can reach a total length of about 100 centimeters, making it not really suitable for the aquarium at home. At this length, this fish can weigh about 25 kilograms.

The color of the Turbot is variable. They can take on the color of the substrate below them so that they are well camouflaged. The color can vary from sand to dark brown with dark spots on it. The underside of the fish is white. The body is almost round. They have a large head, small eyes and a large mouth that is vertical.


Scophthalmus maximus’s diet consists mainly of small fish, but crustaceans and shellfish are also eaten. They are a sight hunter so they need fairly clear water.


The habitat of the Turbot extends from the coast of Norway to Iceland and down towards Africa and east through the Mediterranean Sea into the Baltic Sea.

They inhabit salt and brackish water areas between 20 and 70 meters deep and occur above rocks and sandy soils. They are regularly found along the edges of deeper channels.

Spawning Turbot

The spawning season is somewhat dependent on the temperature of the water. In the warmer waters of the Mediterranean, eggs are usually laid between February and April. The temperature in the Atlantic Ocean is somewhat lower and the eggs are laid between May and July. The females deposit the eggs at 2 to 4 day intervals.

Rairing the fry

The young fish that hatch look like normal upright swimming fish. Their metamorphosis is complete 40 to 50 days after hatching, they are then about 2.5 centimeters long. The right eye moves to the left, allowing the fish to lie flat on the bottom and still use both eyes.

Commercial breeding

This species is now widely cultivated commercially. This ensures that we have to capture less from the wild for consumption.


John de Lange

Copyright images

John de Lange


Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme – FOA

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