Long tongue sole: Cynoglossus lingua
Long tongue sole: Cynoglossus lingua

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Pleuronectiformes (Flatfishes)
Family: Cynoglossidae (Tonguefishes)
Genus: Cyanoglossus
Species: C. lingua

Common/local names
English: Long tongue sole
Bangladesh: Kukur jeeb (কুকুর জিব)

Arelia lingua (Hamilton, 1822)
Arelia macrorhynchos (Bleeker, 1851)
Arelia potous (Cuvier, 1829)
Cynoglossus acinaces Jenkins, 1910
Cynoglossus potous (Cuvier, 1829)
Plagusia lingua (Hamilton, 1822)
Plagusia macrorhynchos Bleeker, 1851
Plagusia potous (Cuvier, 1829)
Pleuronectes potous Cuvier, 1829

Distributions: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, through the east Indies, to the Phillippines, (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Bay of Bengal, Malay Archipelago to coastal area of India (Shafi and Quddus, 2003). Bay of Bengal (Rahman, 2005).

Conservation status: Not threatened in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body elongated, tongue shaped and posteriorly pointed. Snout is pointed obtusely. Distinct interspace between two eye is present. Upper eye is somewhat advance than lower eye and  rictus of mouth reaches to the beyond of lower eye. Rostral hook short and not reaching the front edge of lower eye. Two nostrils ; simple and tubular present on each side. Simple one between eyes and tubular one in front of lower eye on ocular side. Two lateral lines present on ocular side and is separated by 11 or 12 rows of scales, lower lateral line straight. No lateral line on blind side but nostrils present and situated a little above upper lip. Lips not fringed. Villiform teeth present in band of jaws. Posterior edge of maxillary nearer to gill opening than to tip of snout. Ctenoid scale present in ocular, cycloid scale on lateral line, head and on blind side of the body. Vertical fin densely scaled and scale posteriorly larger in size.

Head 4.5-4.6 in standard, 4.8-5.0 in total length. Height 6.4-6.5 in standard, 7.0-7.3 in total length. Eye 12.0-15.0; Snout 6.0, interorbital 0.8-1.0. (Rahman, 1989 and 2005).  Caudal confluent with dorsal and anal, pointed. Pectorals absent, only left pelvic developed and connected with anal.

Color: Radish brown on ocular side and often with irregular black patches, blind side white. Gill covers brackish in color. Operculum carries a large black blotch.

Fin formula:
D. 140-150; A. 100-110; P2. 4 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D. 90-100; A. 72-78; V. 4; C.10 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
D. 130-150; P1 absent; P2 4; A 97-114; C 10 (Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 2007)

Maximum lengths: 22.5 cm ( Rahman, 1989 and 2005); 20-30 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Habitats: Inhabits inshore areas and estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Muddy and sandy continental shelf, sometimes found in estuaries and large freshwater rivers (Shafi and Quddus, 2003). Estuaries and tidal rivers (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Demersal(Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 2007)

Food and feeding habit: Lives on invertebrate animal of bottom (Shafi and Quddus, 2003).

Fishery information: This tounless is very common in the catches in the Gangetic delta and it has also demand in Bangladesh as fish food. Control invertebrate population by eating.



Bleeker P. 1851. Over eenige nieuwe soorten van Pleuronectoïden van den Indischen Archipel. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië v. 1: 401-416.

Cuvier G  and Valenciennes A. 1829. Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome troisième. Suite du Livre troisième. Des percoïdes à dorsale unique à sept rayons branchiaux et à dents en velours ou en cardes. Histoire naturelle des poissons. v. 3: i-xxviii + 2 pp. + 1-500, Pls. 41-71. [Cuvier authored volume. i-xxii + 1-368 in Strasbourg edition.]

Hamilton F.   1822 An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh & London. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches.: i-vii + 1-405, Pls. 1-39.

IUCN Bangladesh. 2000. Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

Jenkins JT. 1910. Notes on fish from India and Persia, with descriptions of new species. Records of the Indian Museum (Calcutta) v. 5: 123-140, Pl. 6.

Rahman AKA. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 33-34.

Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 48-49.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA. 2003. Bangopshagorer Matsho Shampad (in bengali) Kabir Publication, Dhaka, Bangladesh. p. 469.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 2, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, p. 1024.


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Long tongue sole, Cynoglossus lingua Hamilton, 1822

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S.M. Abu Naser

MS Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. Email: smanaser@gmail.com; smanaser@bdfish.org. More...

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