Harris' Flathead, Inegocia harrisii (McCulloch 1914)

Other Names: Dwarf Flathead, Harris's Flathead

Harris' Flathead, Inegocia harrisii. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

Small orange-brown flathead, peppered with fine brown spots above and pale on the underside; pectoral fin with irregular darker bars, tail with long dark streaks.

Cite this page as:
CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Inegocia harrisii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Jun 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/2178

Harris' Flathead, Inegocia harrisii (McCulloch 1914)

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Continental shelf of northern Australia from Gladstone, Queensland to the North West Shelf, Western Australia. Also recorded from Daru, Western Papua New Guinea. Demersal in bays and coastal waters at depths from about 7 to 65 m.


Meristic counts: Dorsal fin I,VIII, 11; Anal fin 11; Caudal fin 15; Pectoral fin 22–25 (usually 22 or 24); Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales (pored) 51–54 (usually 52 or 53)

Body elongate, moderately depressed. Head large (length 36–38% SL), moderately depressed, supraorbital ridge smooth anteriorly, with serrations over posterior half of eye; preorbital spine absent; a single preocular spine; suborbital ridge usually with 2 spines under eye and several more spines behind eye; Lower side of head bicarinate; ocular flap absent; teeth on jaws very small and sharp, teeth on vomer in two parallel longitudinal patches; preopercular spines usually 3, upper preopercular spine short, subequal with next; small accessory spine absent; interopercular flap absent; Total gill rakers on first arch 5–7 (usually 6). Scales small, finely ctenoid dorsally, cycloid ventrally, covering body and most of head behind eyes; Oblique scale rows slanting downward above lateral line closely approximate number of lateral-line scales. Lateral-line scales 51–54 (usually 52 or 53), anterior 6–36 scales bearing a small spine or ridge. First dorsal fin spinous with short base, first spine very short, connected by a low membrane to second, following spines much longer. Second dorsal fin base longer than first, 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 rounded. Pectoral fins moderately small.


Maximum total length about 24 cm, commonly to 20 cm TL.


Head and body orange-brown or grey above with fine brown spots, whitish below, 2 brown bars below eye over cheek. Caudal fin brown with prominent elongate blotches; pectoral fins dusky, with brown spots forming vertical bands; pelvic fins dusky, with a few dark spots.


Taken by trawls over sand and mud substrate.


Not evaluated

Species Citation

Insidiator harrisii McCulloch, 1914, Biol. Results "Endeavour", Near Pine Peak, Queensland, Australia, Lectotype.


CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research

Harris' Flathead, Inegocia harrisii (McCulloch 1914)


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).

Pitcher, C.R., Doherty, P.J., Arnold, P., Hooper, J.N.A. & Gribble, N.A. (2007) Seabed biodiversity on the continental shelf of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. 319 pp.

Pitcher, C.R., Haywood, M.D.E., Hooper, J.N.A., Coles, R., Bartlett, C., Browne, M., Cannard, T.M., Carini, G., Carter, A., Cheers, S.J., Chetwynd, A.D., Cook, S., Davie, P., Ellis, A.N., Fellegara, I., Forcey, K., Furey, M., Gledhill, D.C., Hendriks, P., Jacobsen, I., Johnson, J., Jones, M., Last, P.R., Marks, S.A., McLeod, I.M., Sheils, J.A., Sheppard, J., Smith, G.P., Strickland, C., Van der Geest, C., Wassenberg, T.J., and Yearsley, G.K. (2007). Mapping and characterisation of key biotic and physical attributes of the Torres Strait ecosystem: CRC-TS task number : T2.1 final report. Cleveland, Qld.: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. xi, 142 pp.

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:37296010

Danger:venomous spines

Depth:7-65 m


Habitat:benthic, sandy bottom

Max Size:24 cm


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