Animal Species:Northern Sand Flathead, Platycephalus endrachtensis Ramsay & Ogilby, 1886

The Northern Sand Flathead is most easily recognised by its distinctive tail. This species is usually found on sandy bottoms in estuarine and coastal waters.  Until Imamura's 2008 paper, the species was known in Australia as Platycephalus arenarius.

Northern Sand Flathead in the Minnamurra River

Sascha Schulz © Sascha Schulz

Standard Common Name

Northern Sand Flathead

Alternative Name/s

Flagtail Flathead, Northern-flag Tailed Flathead, Sand Flathead

Identification

The Northern Sand Flathead is most easily recognised by its distinctive tail which is pale below, brown above and has a series of black stripes. Overall the fish is sandy coloured with brown spots on the head and body.

Size range

The species grows to 45 cm in length.

Distribution

In Australia it is recorded from the central coast of Western Australia around the tropical north of the country and south to southern New South Wales.

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

Platycephalus endrachtensis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Northern Sand Flathead specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

This species is usually found on sandy bottoms in estuarine and coastal waters. It lives in depths from 1 m to 60 m.

Classification

Species:
endrachtensis
Genus:
Platycephalus
Family:
Platycephalidae
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Imamura, H. 2008.  Synonymy of two species of the genus Platycephalus and validity of Platycephalus westraliae (Teleostei: Platycephalidae). Ichthyological Research. 55: 399-406.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Northern Sand Flathead, Platycephalus arenarius, Platycephalidae, Platycephalus endrachtensis, distinctive tail, sandy bottoms, estuarine water, coastal water, Flagtail Flathead, Northern-flag Tailed Flathead, Sand Flathead, pale underside, sandy colour, brown spots, dots/spots, shallow water,