Animal Species:Tasselsnout Flathead, Thysanophrys cirronasa (Richardson, 1848)

The Tasselsnout Flathead has a very large head which makes up about 40% of the length of the fish. It occurs from southern Queensland to south-western Western Australia.

Tasselsnout Flathead, Thysanophrys cirronasa

Tasselsnout Flathead, Thysanophrys cirronasa
Photographer: Jayne Jenkins © Jayne Jenkins

Standard Common Name

Tasselsnout Flathead

Alternative Name/s

Rock Flathead, Tassel-snouted Flathead


The Tasselsnout Flathead has a very large head which makes up about 40% of the length of the fish. The head has well developed spines but no scales. The large mouth has bands of villiform teeth on the jaws and the roof of the mouth (on the bones known as the vomer and palatines). This species has a short spiny dorsal fin and a long soft dorsal fin. The body is covered with small ctenoid scales.

The colouration of the Tasselsnout Flathead is highly variable from pale brown to purple with darker saddles and markings. The first dorsal fin has a dark band on the margin. All the other fins have markings including dark diagonal bands.

Size range

The species grows to 38 cm in length.


The species occurs in temperate marine waters from southern Queensland to south-western Western Australia. It has not been recorded from Tasmanian waters.

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.

Thysanophrys cirronasa

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Tasselsnout Flathead specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?



What does this mean?


  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. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F., C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Tasselsnout Flathead, Thysanophrys cirronasa, Platycephalidae, large head, Rock Flathead, Tassel-snouted Flathead, no scales, developed spines, ctenoid scales, pale brown, purple, saddles, dark diagonal bands, 30 cm - 1 m, temperate water, marine,