PLATYCEPHALIDAE
flatheads

  Sorsogona prionota
(Sauvage, 1873)

Relevant synonyms
None

Misidentification
Platycephalus sp.

Meristic formula
D, IX + 12; A, 12-13; P, 19-22; L.L., 50-54; GR, 9-11.

 photo : David Darom    

SHORT DESCRIPTION
Body elongates with depressed head. The spiny part of dorsal fin scarcely connected to the second part. A first dorsal spine short and barely connected to the rest of the fin. Caudal fin truncated to rounded. Pectoral fin thoracic. Large head armed with ridges, spines and serration. Lower jaw longer than upper. Small teeth in a band on the lower jaw. Knobbed-shaped teeth on the maxilla. Short vomerine and longer palatine tooth patches. Scales ctenoid. The first 15-20 lateral line scales bear small spines.

color : back and flanks brown to beige with 4-6 dark bars. White belly. Small dark spots scattered on the fins.

size : common 5-18 cm (max. 20 cm).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Papilloculiceps longiceps: no lateral line scales bear spines; small papilla present on the upper surface of eye.
  • Platycephalus indicus: more than 65 scales in lateral line, none with small spine.
    Scorpaenidae: clearly continuous dorsal fin.
    Triglidae: three lowermost pectoral rays detached.
    Callionymidae: much smaller species; pointed snout with small mouth; no spiny ridges on the head.

    BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
    Spend most of the day buried in the sand, waiting for prey. Feeds on crustaceans and small fish. In the Red Sea, young specimens (5-10 cm) occupy very shallow depths (0.5-1.5 m). Adults spend the day in deeper waters, entering the shallow sector at night.

    habitat : benthic, sandy bottom to depths of 20 m.


  • 1st MEDITERRANEAN RECORD
    Israel, 1990 (specimen 1947).


    DISTRIBUTION
    Worldwide : Red Sea and western Indian Ocean from Mozambique to the Arabian Gulf. Mediterranean : only a single specimen recorded (Golani and Ben-Tuvia, 1990) from a specimen collected before 1946 but erroneously identified as Platycephalus sp. (Haas and Steinitz, 1947).

    ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS
    Very rare.

    speculated reasons for success :
    -


    MODE OF INTRODUCTION
    Via the Suez Canal.


    IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
    None.


    KEY REFERENCES

    • Golani D. and Ben-Tuvia A., 1990. Two Red Sea flatheads (Platycephalidae) immigrants in the Mediterranean. Cybium, 14: 57-61.

    FEEDBACK / COMMENTS TO AUTHORS



    Last update of the species sheet:
    March 2001

    ©ciesm 2002