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Compiler and date details

23 April 2015 - Dianne J. Bray, Ursula E. Smith, John R. Paxton, Douglass F. Hoese, Matthew M. Lockett & Jennifer E. Gates

John R. Paxton, Douglass F. Hoese, Jennifer E. Gates & Dianne J. Bray


For Platycephalidae Eschmeyer & Fong (2015) recognise 83 valid species in 17 genera. Imamura (2015) described the Australian endemic Platycephalus australiae, bringing the number of valid species to 84. Currently, 51 described species in 15 genera are recognised from Australian waters. Previously, Paxton et al. (2006) recognised 45 described species of platycephalids in 15 genera from Australian waters.

Flatheads form an important commercial and recreational fishery. They are benthic onshore and shelf fishes, with a few species penetrating far up estuaries. They are primarily Indo-Pacific, with one east Atlantic species. Fishes and crustaceans form the primary diet of the most important commercial Australian species that have been studied. Flatheads are elongate with the head depressed and body depressed or cylindrical. The head usually has ridges and spines. The mouth is large, gill openings are wide and the body is well scaled. The tail is often distinctively coloured or patterned. Most tropical flatheads are relatively small, but some temperate species in the genus Platycephalus are large, exceeding 1 m in length and 14 kg weight.

Keenan (1991) presented a phylogeny of the family determined by allozyme electrophoresis, Imamura (1996) discussed relationships within the family, Knapp (1996) reviewed the genus Cociella, and Knapp (1999) presented a key to species from the tropical West-Pacific. Gomon (2008) treated species from Australia's south coast, and a number of tropical species are treated in Allen & Erdmann (2012). Imamura and Gomon (2010) revised the genus Ratabulus, and Imamura (2015) revised the Australian species in the genus Platycephalus and presented a key to species. A number of other Australian platycephalid species have been reviewed and/or redescribed in recent years.


General References

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Fong, J.D. Species by family/ subfamily in the Catalog of Fishes. Online Version, Updated 7 January 2015.

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Platycephalidae. pp. 515-521 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Imamura, H. 1996. Phylogeny of the family Platycephalidae and related taxa (Pisces: Scorpaeniformes). Species Diversity 1(2): 123-233

Imamura, H. 2015. Taxonomic revision of the flathead fish genus Platycephalus Bloch, 1785 (Teleostei: Platycephalidae) from Australia, with description of a new species. Zootaxa 3904(2): 151–207

Imamura, H. & Gomon, M.F. 2010. Taxonomic revision of the genus Ratabulus (Teleostei: Platycephalidae), with descriptions of two new species from Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 67: 19-33

Keenan, C.P. 1991. Phylogeny of Australian species of flatheads (Teleostei, Platycephalidae) as determined by allozyme electrophoresis. Journal of Fish Biology 39(Supplement A): 237-249

Knapp, L.W. 1996. Review of the genus Cociella Whitley (Teleostei: Platycephalidae) with the description of three new species. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 109(1): 17-33

Knapp, L.W. 1999. Family Platycepalidae. pp. 2385-2421 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Paxton, J.R., Hoese, D.F., Gates, J.E. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Platycephalidae. pp. 933-948 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
06-May-2015 SCORPAENIFORMES 23-Apr-2015 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)