Animal Species:Tiger Flathead, Platycephalus richardsoni Castelnau, 1872

The colouration of the Tiger Flathead is variable. It is grey brown with darker blotches or bands. It is endemic to Australia.

Tiger Flathead, Platycephalus richardsoni

John Pogonoski © John Pogonoski

Standard Common Name

Tiger Flathead

Alternative Name/s

Deepsea Flathead, King Flathead, Spiky Flathead, Teethies, Toothy Flathead, Trawl Flathead

Identification

The Tiger Flathead has an elongate body and a large flattened head with several low ridges. It has large eyes, each with a small ocular flap. There are canine teeth on both jaws and on the vomer and palatines on the roof of the mouth.

The colouration of the Tiger Flathead is variable. It is grey brown with darker blotches or bands. The entire body is covered with small orange spots. The caudal fin is dusky, often with a few red-brown blotches dorsally and a paler region basally.

Size range

The species grows to 60 cm in length.

Distribution

The Tiger Flathead is endemic to Australia. It occurs from northern New South Wales south to Tasmania and west to eastern South 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 richardsoni

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Tiger Flathead specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is commonly found across the continental shelf in depths between 30 m and 160 m. However, during the autumn months, some of the population moves into deeper water between 200 m and 350 m depth (pers. comm. Ken Graham).

Mating and reproduction

In summer, spawning Tiger Flathead are found closer inshore.

Classification

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

What does this mean?

References

  1. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. 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.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Tiger Flathead, Platycephalus richardsoni, Platycephalidae, variable colour, grey brown, blotches/mottled, stripes or bands, endemic to Australia, Deepsea Flathead, King Flathead, Spiky Flathead, Teethies, Toothy Flathead, Trawl Flathead, elongate, large head, large eyes, small orange spots, dots/spots, 30 cm - 1 m,