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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Platycephalus indicus Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: head flattened, smooth, except for the low parieto-occipital, scapular and preopercular ridges, none of which is provided with any spines or serratures; a low blunt spine in front of the upper anterior orbital angle; preoperculum ending in 2 robust spines, both slightly upturned; vomerine teeth canine-like; palatines with a single prominent row of canine-like teeth; jaws with villiform teeth in broad bands. Two dorsal fins well separated, the first with 1 isolated short spine and 7-9 spines, the second with 13 soft rays; anal fin with 13 soft rays; highest dorsal spine scarcely equal to longest soft ray; posterior margin of soft dorsal and anal fins cleft deeply between the rays, the membrane joining the front edge of the rays below their middle; free ends of the rays well branched. Body covered with very small ctenoid scales, more than 100 in a longitudinal row; lateral line smooth, covered with 67-84 pored scales. Colour: brownish with 8 or 9 obscure dusky bands over back; top of head mottled in fine pattern, the spots being of a more or less roundish form and encircled with a pale ring; ventral part of the body yellowish; fins, except caudal, with rows of dusky spots on the rays; caudal fin with a median longitudinal black band, below and above which are 2 oblique ones. Size: to 35 cm, usually 20 cm.

Habitat: rocky and soft bottoms from 20 to 200 m depth. Food: crustaceans and small fishes. Reproduction: no data.

Distribution: in the area, along the coast of Israel (rare) and Egypt; penetrated into the eastern Mediterranean through the Suez Canal; outside the area, Red Sea, eastern coasts of Africa, coasts of India, Indonesia, China, Japan, the Philippines and Western Australia.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Indian flathead (Platycephalus indicus)