Achirus achirus – Drab Sole

Achirus achirus or Drab Sole is a quiet, somewhat withdrawn fish.

Achirus achirus – Drab Sole

Achirus achirus was described in 1758 by Linnaeus. The name Achirus is derived from two ancient Greek words. A means ‘without’ and cheir means ‘hands’. Together it means without hands, a reference to the lack of pectoral fins. Their common name is Drab Sole.

Synonyms: Achirus maculipinnis gunteri, Monochir punctifer, Monochirus lineatus, Pleuronectes achirus


In the aquarium, the Drab Sole does not grow as large as in the wild. Due to the often smaller dimensions, they reach a length of at most about 10 centimeters in the aquarium. In the wild, they can grow to a length of up to 37 centimetres.

It is a calm, somewhat withdrawn fish. Outside the mating season, they are solitary individuals that live on and in the substrate.


South America: Surinam, Brazil, Uruquay, Peru,
• Rio Ucayali
• Rio Maranon
• Amazone
Contamana – Iquitos – Yarimaguas – Yarina – Cocha


Small live food, mainly bloodworms and Tubifex.

The Aquarium

Fine sand and flat rocks so they can burrow in and only their eyes are visible.
Minimum length aquarium 100 cm. The aquarium must have a lid, they can jump quite a bit!

Water parameters

Hardness up to 18 dGH;
Lightly acidic, pH 6.5-7.5;
Temperature: 25 – 30°C;
They occur in fresh and brackish water down to a depth of 20 meters.


Tekkelke – John de Lange

Copyright images

Tekkelke – J. de Lange


Mergus Aquarien Atlas 1985 Deel-4 blz 826

Bijgewerkt op 12 August 2023 door John

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