Imamura's Ghost Flathead, Hoplichthys imamurai Nagano, McGrouther & Yabe 2013

Other Names: Regan's Ghost Flathead
A rare ghost flathead with three broad orange blotches across the body, a yellow lower caudal fin lobe and sometimes a black edge to the anal fin.
Until the description of Imamura's Ghost Flathead, this species was called Hoplichthys regani in Australia.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Hoplichthys imamurai in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Imamura's Ghost Flathead, Hoplichthys imamurai Nagano, McGrouther & Yabe 2013

More Info


Endemic to the Northwest Shelf of Western Australia, from off Point Cloates (23°25’S) to off Port Hedland (18°32’S).


Dorsal fin VI, 15; Anal fin 17; Pectoral fin 13 + 3 = 16. 

Snout short, preoptic (31.2–32.7% HL); eye large (23.8–24.7% HL); interorbital narrow, width (2.6–4.1% HL); teeth absent from vomer; gill rakers long, thin; spines on ventral surface of lower jaw; lateral scutes each with a single spine; free pectoral-fin rays short (13.4–14.9% SL). Males - first dorsal fin low, its adpressed tips not reaching origin of second dorsal fin; some elongated second dorsal-fin rays filament-like; caudal fin emarginate, upper edge elongated, filament-like.


Three broad orange blotches across body, lower caudal fin lobe orange; sometimes black edge to anal fin.


Food items of Hoplichthys species include fishes and decapod crustaceans.


Usually taken in trawls, although not commercially harvested.

Species Citation


Dianne J. Bray

Imamura's Ghost Flathead, Hoplichthys imamurai Nagano, McGrouther & Yabe 2013


Allen, G.R. (1997). Marine fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and south-east Asia. Western Australian Museum, Perth. 1-292. (as Hoplichthys regani)

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. (1988) The marine fishes of north-western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Western Australian Museum, Perth.: I-vi + 1-201, 1-70 (as Hoplichthys regani)

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. (1984)Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesiaand Northwestern Australia. Canberra: Australian Development Assistance Bureau, 406 pp. (as Hoplichthys regani)

Paxton, J.R., Gates, J.E. McGrouther, M.A. & Hoese, D.F. (2006). Hoplichthyidae (pp. 949-950). InZoological Catalogue ofAustralia. Volume 35. Fishes. (as Hoplichthys regani)

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. (p. 70, pl. 16, as Hoplichthys regani)

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. (p. 124, as Hoplichthys regani)

Nagano, Y., McGrouther, M.A. & Yabe, M. 2013. A new species of the hoplichthyid genus Hoplichthys (Teleostei: Hoplichthyidae) from northern Western Australia. Zootaxa 3681(3): 241–248.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. [336] (as Hoplichthys cf acanthopleurus)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37297003

Depth:200-300 m

Habitat:Bottom dweller

Max Size:14.4 cm SL


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map