Northern Sand Flathead Click to enlarge image
A Northern Sand Flathead at a depth of 3 m in the tidal region of the Minnamurra River, New South Wales, 18 July 2010. Image: Sascha Schulz
© Sascha Schulz

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    endrachtensis
    Genus
    Platycephalus
    Family
    Platycephalidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 45 cm in length.

Introduction

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.

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.


Tail of a 36 cm long Northern Sand Flathead
Tail of a 36 cm long Northern Sand Flathead caught on hook and line off Harrington, New South Wales, December, 2001. Image: John Pogonoski
© John Pogonoski

Habitat

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

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.



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.