Shorthead Sole, Brachirus breviceps Ogilby 1910

Other Names: Short-headed Sole

Illustration of the holotype of the Shorthead Sole, Brachirus breviceps, QM I.865, from Rockhampton, Queensland. Source: Allan McCulloch, Text-fig. 1, in McCulloch (1916) Mem. Qld Mus. 5: 58–69 / Biodiversity Heritage Library. License: CC BY Attribution

A rare and poorly known sole from southern Queensland.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Brachirus breviceps in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Feb 2023,

Shorthead Sole, Brachirus breviceps Ogilby 1910

More Info


Holotype (description modified from McCulloch 1916): Dorsal fin 73; Anal fin 61; Lateral-line scales 77; Transverse scales 25/31.
Greatest body depth, measured on the lower surface, 3 in length to base of caudal-fin rays; head 5-7 in the same. Eye 6-8 in head length, equal in length to the interorbital space. Longest ray of right pectoral fin shorter than the eye, 7.3 in head, shorter than that of left pectoral, which is 5.4 in the head length. Eyes small, round, upper partly in advance of lower. Upper anterior nostril with a tentacle with a minute, inferior, secondary lobe at base, tentacle not reaching anterior margin of lower eye; posterior nostril opening into a short tube near lip in front of eye. Band of minute teeth on left side of both jaws. Mouth opening extending to anterior margin of lower eye; lips not fringed.
Fins damaged. Dorsal fin commencing in advance of upper eye, rays increasing in length posteriorly, posterior almost as long as caudal-fin rays. Anal fin similar to the dorsal. Caudal incomplete, rays equal to head length. Pelvic fins greatly damaged, opposite, subequal anteriorly,  separated from anal-fin rays by a short interspace. Pectoral fins minute, left fin slightly larger than right. 
Lateral line arching upward and forward on upper surface of the head, straight from behind head to middle caudal-fin rays. 
Scales ctenoid above and below except on lower surface of head, where they are cycloid; upper surfaces of fin-rays scaly, lower naked. Upper portion of head, except lips and anterior half of snout scaled; naked portion separated from rest by a fold of skin crossing snout, and connected with anterior dorsal-fin ray; lower surface of head naked anteriorly, with scattered cirri; interorbital space scaled.


The specific name breviceps is from the Latin brevis (= short) and ceps (= head), in reference to the short head of this species.

Species Citation

Brachirus breviceps Ogilby 1910, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 23(1): 36. Type locality: Rockhampton, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Shorthead Sole, Brachirus breviceps Ogilby 1910


McCulloch, A.R. 1916. Ichthyological items. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 5: 58-69 figs 1-4 pls 7-9 (as Synaptura brevicepsSee ref at BHL

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part II. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5: 145–329 (as Synaptura breviceps)

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961] 

Norman, J.R. 1926. A report on the flatfishes (Heterosomata) collected by the F.I.S. Endeavour, with a synopsis of the flatfishes of Australia and a revision of the subfamily Rhombosoleinae. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 5(5): 219-308 figs 1-15 

Ogilby, J.D. 1910. On new or insufficiently described fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 23(1): 1-55 See ref at BHL

Whitley, G.P. 1964. A survey of Australian Ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 89(1): 11-127 (as Trichobrachirus breviceps)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37462022

Depth:0-50 m

Habitat:Soft sediment areas


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map