Familia Platycephalidae


by J.-C. Hureau

Small to medium-sized bottom fishes; body depressed anteriorly, subcylindrical posteriorly; head flattened and more or less armed with spines and serratures, scaly posteriorly; jaws, vomer and palatines with barlds of villiform teeth, some of the teeth sometimes enlarged and more or less canine-like. Two dorsal fins well separated, the first preceded by a short detached spine; pelvics with 1 spine and 5 rays, thoracic, inserted wide apart, and well behind pectorals; lower rays of pectoral fins more or less free at tips. Body covered with numerous very small ctenoid scales; one smooth lateral line.
Fishes found on rocky or soft bottoms of the continental shelf from 20 to 200 m depth. Feed on crustaceans and probably small fishes.

Genera 20; in Clofnam area 1.

Recent revision: Knapp, 1984 (Indian Ocean species).

Note. This family is normally restricted to the Indo-Pacific area (about 40 species). Only one species occurs in the Atlantic (Grammoplites gruveli along the tropical African coasts) and one species, in the eastern Mediterranean, is a migrant from the Red Sea (Platycephalus indicus).