Crocodilefish, Cymbacephalus beauforti (Knapp, 1973)
The Crocodilefish has a huge head. It is usually seen on sandy or rubble bottoms near mangroves, seagrass or corals.
The Crocodilefish is a species of flathead (family Platycephalidae) with an intricate pattern, a distinct pit immediately behind the eyes and a concave head margin.
The eyes of the Crocodilefish have iris lappets. These projections help break up the black pupil of the fish, and thus improve its camouflage. Many other species of flatheads such as the Tasselsnout Flathead and Fringe-eye Flathead also have iris lappets.
The species is usually seen on sandy or rubble bottoms near mangroves, seagrass or corals at depths ranging from 1 m to at least 30 m.
The fish in the images was caught in May 2000, at a depth of 5m at Maricaban Island, Republic of the Philippines. The site was mostly coral reef, sand, rubble and rocky outcrops.
It occurs from the Philippines to New Caledonia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Feeding and diet
It eats fishes and crustaceans.
- Michael, S.W. 1998. Reef Fishes. Volume 1. A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour, and Captive Care. Microcosm. Pp. 624.
- Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.