Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.


Sole (Peltorhamphus novaezelandiae), patiki rori of the Maoris, is distinguished from the flounders by its oval shape, rounded region of the head, and the almost continuous fringe of fins. Most of the market supply is trawled in moderately deep water, but it is occasionally found in shallow estuarine locations.

The sole is olive-grey, dotted with black, and extra large examples have been recorded up to 30 in. in length. It is esteemed as a food fish, but only because it is less common in the markets than flounders which are superior in taste and food value. A related species is known as the lemon sole, Pelotretus flavilatus. Thirteen species of flat fishes are known from New Zealand waters, including a large turbot, Colistium nudipinnis, which is comparatively rare, and the megrim, Caulopsetta scapha, which is not popular as a food fish as it is usually very thin. The latter species abounds in the Te Whanga Lagoon, Chatham Island.

by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.

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