Celebes Flathead, Thysanophrys celebica Click to enlarge image
The head of a Celebes Flathead at a depth of 6m, Flores, Indonesia, November 1998. Image: Rudie Kuiter
© Rudie Kuiter

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    celebica
    Genus
    Thysanophrys
    Family
    Platycephalidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
  • Size Range
    It grows to at least 15 cm in length.

Introduction

As the common name suggests, these fish are distinguished by their flattened head shape and are close relatives of scorpionfishes (scorpaenidae). They are seldom noticed due to their protective colouration and habit of burying themselves in the sand.

Identification

The Celebes Flathead has an elongate body and a moderately depressed head. Its iris lappets have short branches. The species is brown to greenish above and pale below. The back may be crossed by four or five dark bars. There are dark spots on the pectoral and pelvic fins and a distinct dark bar under the eye.


Celebes Flathead, Thysanophrys celebica
A Celebes Flathead at a depth of 6m, Flores, Indonesia, November 1998. Image: Rudie Kuiter
© Rudie Kuiter

Habitat

The Celebes Flathead is a benthic species that occurs in tropical inshore and coral reef waters. It is usually seen on sandy substrates.

Distribution

The species is found in the Indo-West Pacific and from northern to southern Queensland in Australia.

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



References

  1. Knapp, L.W. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. 1999. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO. Rome Pp. iii-v, 2069-2790.
  2. Michael, S.W. 1998. Reef Fishes. Volume 1. A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour, and Captive Care. Microcosm. Pp. 624.