As the common name suggests, these fish are distinguished by their flattened head shape and are close relatives of scorpionfishes (scorpaenidae). They are seldom noticed due to their protective colouration and habit of burying themselves in the sand.
The Celebes Flathead has an elongate body and a moderately depressed head. Its iris lappets have short branches. The species is brown to greenish above and pale below. The back may be crossed by four or five dark bars. There are dark spots on the pectoral and pelvic fins and a distinct dark bar under the eye.
The Celebes Flathead is a benthic species that occurs in tropical inshore and coral reef waters. It is usually seen on sandy substrates.
The species is found in the Indo-West Pacific and from northern to southern Queensland in Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
- Knapp, L.W. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. 1999. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO. Rome Pp. iii-v, 2069-2790.
- Michael, S.W. 1998. Reef Fishes. Volume 1. A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour, and Captive Care. Microcosm. Pp. 624.