Adults live on mixed bottoms, the older the deeper the occurrence; small individuals are usually seen on bathing beaches. Occurs on mud and sand bottom from a few meters down to about 100 m, at sea, estuaries and rarely entering freshwaters. Feed mainly on thin-shelled mollusks and polychaetes. The most important flatfish for fisheries in Europe. Utilized fresh and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, boiled, microwaved and baked. Active at night in the very shallow water while day time is spent buried in the sand.
Northeast Atlantic: Greenland and Norway south to Morocco; Spain and France in the western Mediterranean. Occurences in the White Sea and Estonia.