Fringe-eye Flathead, Cymbacephalus nematophthalmus Click to enlarge image
A Fringe-eye Flathead at a depth of 11m, Gold Coast Seaway, south wall near sandpipe, Queensland, January 2003. Image: Ian Banks
© Ian Banks

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    nematophthalmus
    Genus
    Cymbacephalus
    Family
    Platycephalidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 58 cm in length and 6.55 kg in weight.

Introduction

The Fringe-eye Flathead can be distinguished from other species of flatheads by the presence of six to nine skin tentacles above both eyes. The species occurs in tropical waters of the Western Pacific.

Identification

The Fringe-eye Flathead can be distinguished from other species of flatheads by the presence of six to nine skin tentacles above both eyes. The iris lappets are semicircular with long branches. There is a deep pit behind the eyes. The species is usually dark grey-green above and pale below. There is a broad brown band under the eyes and seven to eight dusky bars across the nape and back. The fins have a variegated pattern of brown and green with yellow marbling.

Habitat

The Fringe-eye Flathead is a benthic species that is usually found on sandy and muddy seabeds in coastal and offshore tropical waters.

Distribution

The Fringe-eye Flathead is occurs in tropical waters of the Western Pacific. In Australia, it is known from estuarine and inshore waters from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to the central coast of 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.



References

  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  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. Knapp, L.W. 1999. Family Platycephalidae . 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.
  4. Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J, & G.G. Leyland. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of northern and north-western Australia. An illustrated Guide. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research. Pp. 375.