Southern Sand Flathead Click to enlarge image
A Southern Sand Flathead at Penguin Island, off Bruny Island, Tasmania, March 2012. Image: Sascha Schulz
© Sascha Schulz

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    bassensis
    Genus
    Platycephalus
    Family
    Platycephalidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 46 cm in length and a weight of 3.1 kg.

Introduction

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.

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.

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.

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.



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.