Broadband Flathead, Onigocia pedimacula (Regan 1908)

A Broadband Flathead, Onigocia pedimacula, at the Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

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CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Onigocia pedimacula in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Broadband Flathead, Onigocia pedimacula (Regan 1908)

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Occurs on the continental shelf from Townsville in northeastern Australia, to the North-West Shelf, Western Australia. Internationally widespread from off Natal, South Africa to Karachi, Maldives, South China Sea, Philippines, Irian Barat (Teluk Berau), Guadalcanal, and Tonga.


D IX or I,VIII, 11; A 10-11 (usually 11); C 15; P 19-23 (usually 21 or 22); V I, 5; Llat (pored) 29 to 34 (usually 30 or 31).

Body elongate. Head large (length 38-41% SL), moderately depressed, with several low, mostly spiny, ridges; eyes large (~30-32% HL) ocular flap absent; 3-5 preocular spines; mouth large with small, sharp teeth; three preopercular spines at angle of preopercle, uppermost longest with an accessory spine on base; no interopercular flap present; total gill rakers on first gill arch 4 or 5 (usually 4). Scales finely ctenoid dorsally, cycloid ventrally, covering body and most of head behind eyes; oblique scale rows slanting backward above lateral line are about equal to the number of lateral-line scales; 29-34 (usually 30 or 31), anterior 2-4 (usually 3) scales bearing spines. Scale pores of lateral line with 2 openings to the exterior. First dorsal fin spinous with short base, first spine short, 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 to slightly rounded. Pectoral fins moderately elongate. Pelvic fins long, based below centre of pectoral fins, reaching past anal fin origin.


Maximum length about 11 cm, usually to about 7 cm TL.


Head and body tan to dark-brown above, pale below; back crossed by about 3-4 darker bands. Anal fin pale; membrane between first and second spine of dorsal fin speckled dark brown, remaining spiny dorsal fin translucent anteriorly, posterior margin speckled dark brown; pectoral fins with dark spots forming indistinct vertical bands, white ventrally; pelvic fin white, overlaid with fine dark spots forming about 3 bands.



Species Citation

Platycephalus pedimacula (Regan 1908), Trans. Linn. Soc. London (Ser. 2, Zool.) v. 12 (3): Kolumadulu, Maldives, Indian Ocean.


CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research

Broadband Flathead, Onigocia pedimacula (Regan 1908)


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.

Imamura, H. & Sakashita, M. (1997) Redescription of a rare flathead, Onigocia grandisquama (Regan, 1908) (Scorpaeniformes: Platycephalidae). Ichth. Res. 4 (2): 119-124.

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.

Knapp, L.W., Imamura, H. & Sakashita, M. (2000) Onigocia bimaculata, a new species of flathead fish (Scorpaeniformes: Platycephalidae) from the Indo-Pacific. J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology Special Publication No. 64: 1-10.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37296051

Danger:venomous spines

Depth:15-110 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:110

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