Shortsnout Flathead, Onigocia oligolepis (Regan 1908)

Other Names: Dwarf Flathead, Short-snouted Flathead

A Shortsnout Flathead, Onigocia oligolepis, in Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved

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CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Onigocia oligolepis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024,

Shortsnout Flathead, Onigocia oligolepis (Regan 1908)

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Continental shelf of northern Australia from off Perth, Western Australia to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Queensland material requires further examination. Demersal to depths of around 30 m.


D IX, 11; A 11; P 18; V I, 5; Llat 30-34.

Body elongate, depressed. Head large (length ~37-42% SL), moderately depressed, with several low ridges, mostly bearing spines; eyes large (~29-30% HL) ocular flap absent; 2-4 preocular spines; a single pair of nasal spines; bands of teeth in jaws villiform; in two small patches on vomer and in a narrow band on palatines; three preopercular spines at angle of preopercle, uppermost longest, second minute; no interopercular flap present; Single gill raker on upper limb, 4-5 on lower limb of first gill arch. Scales ctenoid dorsally, cycloid ventrally, covering body, and most of head behind eyes; lateral-line scales 30 to 34 (usually 34), anterior 2-3 scales bearing spines. First dorsal spine about half length of second, third longest. Second dorsal fin anterior rays longest, about as long as longest first dorsal spines. Caudal fin truncate. Pectoral fins rounded, moderately small.


To about 10 cm TL.


Brown above, cream below, with dark bands across back; two oblique bands over caudal peduncle; a brown band across eye-lid continued onto cheek below; a distinct white band across nape. Caudal with 4-5 dark brown bands. Pelvic fin and lower part of pectoral fin black, both fins with white margins.


May be captured incidentally by trawls, associated with fine sand bottoms and may inhabit caves.



Species Citation

Platycephalus oligolepis Regan 1908, Trans. Linn. Soc. London (Ser. 2, Zool.) v. 12 (3): Cargados Carajos, Indian Ocean.


CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research

Shortsnout Flathead, Onigocia oligolepis (Regan 1908)


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: (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. (1996) Phylogeny of the family Platycephalidae and related taxa (Pisces: Scorpaeniformes). Species Diversity 1 (2): 123-233.

Knapp, L.W. (1986) Family No. 155: Platycephalidae (pp. 482-486). In: M.M. Smith & P.C. Heemstra (eds) Smiths' Sea Fishes. J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1047 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.

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 64: 1-10.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. (1997) Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House, Bathurst, New South Wales, 557 pp.

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:37296027

Danger:venomous spines

Depth:19-80 m

Habitat:Sandy bottoms

Max Size:100

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