Whitefin Flathead, Kumococius rodericensis (Cuvier 1829)

Other Names: Bengal Flathead, Spiny Flathead, White-finned Flathead

Whitefin Flathead, Kumococius rodericensis. Source: CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research. License: All rights reserved

Smallish sandy or brownish flathead, peppered above with tiny black spots, pale below. Back often with about 5 indistinct broad dark bands. Spinous dorsal fin usually with a black blotch, pectoral fins dark brown with a pale centre, pelvic fins bark with a pale edge, caudal fin dusky with a pale blotch near base.

Cite this page as:
CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Kumococius rodericensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3889

Whitefin Flathead, Kumococius rodericensis (Cuvier 1829)

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Continental shelf of northern Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, Queensland. Widespread internationally from Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, Aden, Chagos Archipelago, Indonesia, Taiwan Province of China, Ryukyu Islands, Mariana and Marshall islands, Philippines, to New Caledonia and Fiji. Demersal to about 130 m.


Dorsal fin XI or I,VIII, 11-12 (usually 11); Anal fin 11-13 (usually 12); Pectoral fin 19-22 (usually 19 or 20); Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 50-54 (usually 52 or 53).

Body elongate, moderately depressed. Head large (length ~33% SL), depressed, with several low, mostly spiny ridges; ocular flap absent; teeth in jaws villiform, in two patches on the vomer and in narrow bands on the pallatines; 3 spines at angle of preopercle, upper much longer, reaching nearly to, or just past, opercular margin, accessory spine present; a well developed interopercular flap present; gill rakers on first gill arch 8-12 (usually 10 or 11). Scales on upper body ctenoid, cycloid below, covering body and opercle and preopercle, remainder of head without scales; oblique scale rows slanting backward above lateral line closely approximate number of lateral-line scales, lateral-line scales 50-54 (usually 52 or 53), anterior 2-22 scales (usually about 11) bearing small spines. Scale pores of lateral line with a single opening to the exterior. First dorsal fin spinous, base nearly equal to second dorsal fin base, first spine very short, connected by a low membrane to the second, following spines much longer. Second dorsal fin with moderately long base, anterior rays longest, nearly as long as longest first dorsal spines. Anal fin similar in shape, opposite and slightly longer-based than second dorsal fin. Caudal fin truncate dorsally, rounded ventrally. Pectoral fin with falcate posterior margin.


Maximum total length about 25 cm, commonly to 20 cm TL.


Head and body fawn to brown above, white below with scattered minute black spots, sometimes with about 5 indistinct broad dark bands crossing back; spinous dorsal fin dusky with a black blotch frequently present distally between second and third spines, and a second blotch at edge above middle of fin; anal fin whitish with a dusky margin; pectoral fins dark brown, with a clear whitish or blond central area; pelvic fins dark brown with a light edge; caudal fin dusky with a whitish or blond patch anteriorly.


Usually taken in trawls over soft bottoms.

Species Citation

Platycephalus rodericensis Cuvier 1829, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 4: Lectotype locality: RĂ©union I. Lectotype established by Sauvage 1873 and locality probably in error (see Knapp 1992).


CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research

Whitefin Flathead, Kumococius rodericensis (Cuvier 1829)


Beaufort, L.F., De & Briggs, J.C. (1962) The Fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. XI. Brill, Leiden. 481 pp.

Eschmeyer, W.N. (2008) The Catalogue of Fishes on-line. (California Academy of Sciences: San Francisco) Available from: http://www.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp (10 March, 2008).

Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. (2006) Fishes. In: P.L. Beesley & A. Wells (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia Volume 35. Parts 1-3. Australian Biological Resources Study and CSIRO Publishing, 2248 pp.

Knapp, L.W. (1999) Family Platycephalidae, flatheads, pp. 2385-2421. In: K.E. Carpenter & V.H. Niem (eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4: Bony Fishes Part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.C. (1985) Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra, C.S.I.R.O. Division of Fisheries Research, 375 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37296019

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:10-130 m


Habitat:benthic, soft bottoms

Max Size:25 cm

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