Animal Species:Crocodilefish, Cymbacephalus beauforti (Knapp, 1973)

The Crocodilefish has a huge head. It is usually seen on sandy or rubble bottoms near mangroves, seagrass or corals.

Standard Common Name

Crocodilefish

Identification

The Crocodilefish is a species of flathead (family Platycephalidae) with an intricate pattern, a distinct pit immediately behind the eyes and a concave head margin.

The eyes of the Crocodilefish have iris lappets. These projections help break up the black pupil of the fish, and thus improve its camouflage. Many other species of flatheads such as the Tasselsnout Flathead and Fringe-eye Flathead also have iris lappets.

Size range

The Crocodilefish grows to 54 cm in length.

Distribution

It occurs from the Philippines to New Caledonia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Cymbacephalus beauforti

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Crocodilefish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is usually seen on sandy or rubble bottoms near mangroves, seagrass or corals at depths ranging from 1 m to at least 30 m.

The fish in the images was caught in May 2000, at a depth of 5 m at Maricaban Island, Republic of the Philippines. The site was mostly coral reef, sand, rubble and rocky outcrops.

Feeding and Diet

It eats fishes and crustaceans.

Classification

Species:
beauforti
Genus:
Cymbacephalus
Family:
Platycephalidae
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Michael, S.W. 1998. Reef Fishes. Volume 1. A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour, and Captive Care. Microcosm. Pp. 624.
  2. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.


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Tags fish, ichthyology, Crocodilefish, Cymbacephalus beauforti, concave head, sandy bottom, rubble bottom, mangroves, seagrass, coral reef, complex pattern, camouflage, 30 cm - 1 m, marine,