Species Index

Platycephalus fuscus
(Cuvier, 1829)

Common Name: Dusky Flathead

Distribution: Abundant throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Endemic to Australia, distributed along the east coast from around Cairns in Queensland, through New South Wales to eastern Victoria around Lakes Entrance.

Ecological Notes: Common in estuaries as far as tidal limits, even venturing into fresh water. In coastal areas in shallow depths over sand, seagrass and silt or mud substrate. Depth 1 – 30 m.

Additional Notes: Sandy colour, variable pale to dark according to habitat, distinct markings on pectoral fins and tail readily identify this species. An important recreational catch, eggs and larvae are dispersed by tidal and current movement, small juveniles up to 12 cm long first appearing in estuaries and protected bays one to two months after spawning. Females believed to grow bigger and only one fish larger than 70 cm is allowed to be retained in New South Wales. The largest of all flatheads, grows to 1.2 m and 15 kg.

References: Kuiter, R. H., Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Published by Crawford House Press Pty. Ltd., 1993. p.104.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 01/07/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 01/07/18.