Ryan Photographic - Platycephalidae - Flatheads, crocodilefish


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Family Platycephalidae

Fishbase lists 60 species of flatheads in 18 genera. They are typically small, shallow water fishes that are naturally restricted to the Indo-Pacific although some may have made it from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal to the eastern Mediterranean. They will often bury themselves in sand leaving only their eyes protruding and attack unwitting prey - mostly crustaceans and small fish. The largest species grows to just over a meter. Several, such as the crocodile flathead (below) are so well camouflaged that they are able to lie in the open in plain view. The crocodile flathead has a strange external "filigree" which it can extend over its eye - thus disguising it to some extent. I would love to see some work done on the optincs of this. I've noticed it extend downwards in bright light and wonder if it functions as an external iris.

Flatheads are important food fish in some parts of their range.

 

Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodilefish

Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 452 Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodilefish, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 1021 Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 0948 Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Raja Ampat, West Papua

FISH 8600 Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

crocodilefish eye close-up

FISH 148 Cymbacephalus beauforti Crocodile flathead, Wakatobi, Sulawesi.

Thysanophrys chiltonae Longsnout flathead

Thysanophrys chiltonae Longsnout flathead Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 6001 Thysanophrys chiltonae Longsnout flathead Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Thysanophrys chiltonae Longsnout flathead Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 6002 Thysanophrys chiltonae Longsnout flathead Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Thysanophrys chiltonae Longsnout flathead Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 6003 Thysanophrys chiltonae Longsnout flathead Puerto Galera, Philippines.

 

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