Sainsbury's Flathead, Sunagocia sainsburyi Knapp & Imamura 2004

Sainsbury's Flathead, Sunagocia sainsburyi. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

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CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Sunagocia sainsburyi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Dec 2022,

Sainsbury's Flathead, Sunagocia sainsburyi Knapp & Imamura 2004

More Info


Known only from the continental shelf of northwestern Australia, northeast of Port Hedland, Western Australia, to near Darwin, Northern Territory. Demersal in depths of about 20 to 75 m.


D IX, 11; A 12; C 8; P 19; V I, 5; Llat 52.

Body elongate, depressed. Head large (length 34-36% SL), moderately depressed; 4-5 preorbital spines; supraorbital and suborbital ridge with small spines; eyes large (~24% HL), least interorbital width ~5% HL; no papilla on dorsal surface of eye; lips without papillae; sensory tubes absent from cheek area below the suborbital ridge; preopercular spines 3, upper longest, no basal accessory spine; interopercular not extended anteroventrally, without lobes; total gill rakers on first gill arch 5. Scales ctenoid on upper body, mostly cycloid on breast; pored lateral line scales 52; lateral line scales slightly smaller than adjacent scales on side; oblique scale rows slanting downward and backward above lateral line about equal to number of lateral-line scales. First dorsal fin spinous with moderately short base. Second dorsal fin base of moderate length, 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 posteriorly. Pectoral fins moderately small, rounded posteriorly. Pelvic fin long, based below centre of pectoral fins, reaching beyond origin of anal fin.


To at least 135 mm SL.


Dorsal head and body brownish, about 6 darker bands crossing back, whitish ventrally. Dorsal-fin spines and rays with small dark spots; pectoral fin with several vertical brownish bands above, clear below; pelvic fin with 4 reddish-brown bands; caudal fin with about 4 vertical dark brown bands.


No known fishery, but may be taken incidentally by trawl.

Species Citation

Sunagocia sainsburyi Knapp & Imamura 2004, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 117. 125 km northeast of Port Hedland, Western Australia.


CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research

Sainsbury's Flathead, Sunagocia sainsburyi Knapp & Imamura 2004


Eschmeyer, W.N. (2008) The Catalogue of Fishes on-line. (California Academy of Sciences: San Francisco) Available from: (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. & Imamura, H. (2004) Sunagocia sainsburyi, a new flathead fish (Scorpaeniformes: Platycephalidae) from northwestern Australia. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117(4): 545-550.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37296055

Danger:venomous spines

Depth:20-75 m


Fishing:trawl bycatch


Max Size:140


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