Flathead Sandfish, Lesueurina platycephala Fowler 1908


Other Names: Common Sandfish, Flathead Pygmy-stargazer, Sandfish

Head of a Flathead Sandfish, Lesueurina platycephala, from Western Australia. Source: Chris Dowling / Flickr. License: All rights reserved

Summary:

A small sandy-coloured ambush predator with the body flattened anteriorly, eyes close together on top of head,  a large mouth, long-based dorsal and anal fins and large pectoral fins. The cirri fringing the mouth prevent sand entering the mouth when Flathead sandfish is buried.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Lesueurina platycephala in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Oct 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/508

Flathead Sandfish, Lesueurina platycephala Fowler 1908

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to temperate marine waters of Australia from just north of Fraser Island (Queensland) to about Coral Bay (Western Australia), and around Tasmania, Although rarely seen due to their excellent camouflage, Flathead sandfish often live in the surf zone of sandy beaches in bays, estuaries and along the coast at 0-20 m.

Features

Dorsal fin 32-36; Anal fin 36-37; Pectoral fin 17-21; Pelvic fin I, 5; Caudal fin 10; Lateral line 46-49.

Head depressed, body depressed anteriorly, top of head slightly convex to flat in profile, eyes on top, close together; mouth large, directed slightly upwards when closed, lower jaw projecting slightly beyond upper. Mouth surrounded by many cirri. Scales covering most of head, scales absent from front of pectoral-fin base.

Size

To a standard length of 11 cm.

Colour

Sandy coloured, scales outlined in pale green, grey or brown on top, underside pale. Individuals are coloured to match the sandy bottom on which they live.

Feeding

Carnivore. Flathead sandfishes are not only well-camouflaged, but also hide from predators and prey by bury in sand leaving only their eyes exposed. These ambush predators feed on relatively large bony fishes and invertebrates.

Biology

The sexes are separate and fertilisation is external. Larvae are described by Neira (1998).

Fisheries

Of no interest to fisheries.

Etymology

The genus Lesueurina is named in recognition of Charles Lesueur's work as an ichthyologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

Species Citation

Lesueurina platycephala Fowler 1908, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 59: 440, Fig. 9. Type locality: Victoria, Australia (questionable)

Author

Bray, D.J. 2018

Flathead Sandfish, Lesueurina platycephala Fowler 1908

References


Fowler, H.W.  1907-08. A collection of fishes from Victoria Australia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 59: 419-444. ref. at BHL

Glover, C.J.M. 1994. Family Leptoscopidae. pp. 717-718, figs 628-629 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs

Gomon, M.F. & Last, P.R. 2008. Family Leptoscopidae. pp. 676-677 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Hoese, D.F. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Leptoscopidae. pp. 1505-1506 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

Hourston, M., M.E. Platell, F.J. Valesini & I.C. Potter. 2004. Factors influencing the diets of four morphologically divergent fish species in nearshore marine waters. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K. 84(4): 805-817.

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Last, P.R. 2001. Leptoscopidae. 3517 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. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs (p. 424, as Crapatalus arenarius)

Neira, F.J. 1998. Leptoscopidae. In, Neira, F.J., Miskiewicz, A.G. & Trnski, T. Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. Nedlands, Western Australia : University of Western Australia press 474 pp.


Neira, F.J. & Gaughan, D.J. 1989. Larval development of Lesueurina sp (Teleostei: Leptoscopidae) with notes on the occurrence of the larvae in a south-western Australian estuary. Records of the Western Australian Museum 14(3): 375-383. PDF

Pollom, R. 2017. Hippocampus breviceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T10063A54904334. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T10063A54904334.en. Downloaded on 03 June 2018.


Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37398001

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-20 m

Habitat:Sandy bottom

Max Size:11 cm SL

Native:Endemic

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