Tiger Flathead, Platycephalus richardsoni Click to enlarge image
A 37 cm long Tiger Flathead caught on hook and line off Harrington, New South Wales, December 2001. Image: John Pogonoski
© John Pogonoski

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    richardsoni
    Genus
    Platycephalus
    Family
    Platycephalidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 60 cm in length.

Introduction

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

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.



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).

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.



Breeding behaviours

In summer, spawning Tiger Flathead are found closer inshore.

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.