PLATYCEPHALIDAE
flatheads

  Elates ransonnetti
(Steindachner, 1877)

Meristic formula
D1, VI; D2, 12-14; A, 12-14; P, 19-20; V, 1+5; LL, 83-107; GR, 15-21

      

SHORT DESCRIPTION
Body elongated with depressed head. Two well separated dorsal fins, base of the first is short, its first spine very small. Second dorsal fin originating nearly midpoint, its first ray is longest. Anal fin opposite to second dorsal fin and similar in shape. Caudal fin emarginated, its upper ray filamentous. Pectoral fin base situated between dorsal fin origin and pelvic fin origin. Large mouth, lower jaw projected with small villiform teeth. Upper jaw rear edge not reaching the vertical of eye. Eyes dorsally situated. A long spine on the preoperculum, reaching back at least to opercular margin.

Color : body tan to cream with scattered black blotches and spots on the body, dorsal and caudal fins.

Common size : 10-15 cm (max. 19 cm).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS
Other Platycephalids: lack of long preoercular spine; lack of filamentous ray in the upper edge of caudal fin; 9-10 dorsal spines.

Scorpaenidae – Clearly a single continuous dorsal fin.

Triglidae – Three lowermost pectoral ray detached.

Callionymidae – Pointed snout with small mouth.

BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Feeds on benthic invertebrates and small fishes. Foraging method mainly by ambushing.

Habitat : sandy or muddy substrate to depth of 50 m.


1st MEDITERRANEAN RECORD
Italy, Gulf of Taranto, 2007 [2005].


DISTRIBUTION
Worldwide : From South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand to northern Australia. Mediterranean : southern Italy, Gulf of Taranto (Mastrototaro et al., 2007). More recently recorded in Kastela Bay (Croatia).

ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS
Very rare, only a single specimen recorded from the Mediterranean.



MODE OF INTRODUCTION
By ballast water or as aquarium escapee.


IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
In the Far East taken by trawl over sandy or muddy bottom.


KEY REFERENCES

  • Froese R. and Pauly D., 2008. FishBase (on-line publication) www.fishbase.org
  • Knapp L.W., 1999. Platycephalidae, Flatheads. In: Carpenter K.E. and Niem V.H. (eds) FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO, Rome. pp. 2385-2421.
  • Masrototaro F., Carlucci R., Capezzuto F. and Sion L., 2007. First record of dwarf flathead Elates ransonnetii (Platycephalidae) in the Mediterranean Sea (North-Western Ionian Sea). Cybium, 31(3): 393-394. 

 

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Last update of the species sheet:
November 2013

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