Animal Species:Southern Sand Flathead, Platycephalus bassensis Cuvier, 1829

The Southern Sand Flathead can be recognised by its colouration and head spines.  The species is endemic to Australia, occurring in temperate waters from off northern New South Wales to south-western Western Australia.

Southern Sand Flathead close up

Sascha Schulz © Sascha Schulz

Standard Common Name

Southern Sand Flathead

Alternative Name/s

Bass Flathead, Bay Flathead, Common Flathead, Sand Flathead, Sandy, Sandy Flathead, Slimy Flathead, Yanks

Identification

The Southern Sand Flathead is a moderately elongate species that can be recognised by its colouration and head spines. There are two spines on the rear of the preoperculum. The lower spine is much longer than the upper. The eye has a small ocular flap. The species is sandy coloured with small light and dark spots and indistinct dark bands posteriorly. It is white below. The caudal fin is distinctively coloured. It has a large black blotch surrounded by white on the lower rear portion of the fin. The blotch is often broken up by white lines along the fin rays.

Size range

The species grows to 46 cm in length and a weight of 3.1 kg.

Distribution

The species is is endemic to Australia. It occurs in temperate waters from off northern New South Wales to south-western Western Australia.

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 bassensis

Distribution by collection data

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

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species occurs primarily on sandy seabeds in temperate marine waters. It is found in bays and coastal areas down to about 100 m in depth.

Classification

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

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Southern Sand Flathead, Platycephalus bassensis, Platycephalidae, temperate water, Bass Flathead, Bay Flathead, Common Flathead, Sand Flathead, Sandy, Sandy Flathead, Slimy Flathead, Yanks, elongate, sandy colour, dots/spots, pale underside, 30 cm - 1 m, marine,