Bluespotted Flathead

The temperate marine flatheads can be quite a challenge to identify. The Bluespotted Flathead usually has scattered blue spots on the back and a distinctive pattern of dark blotches on the tail.

Standard Common Name
Bluespotted Flathead

Alternative Name/s
Eastern Blue-spotted Flathead, Longnose Flathead, Red Spotted Flathead, Sand Flathead

Identification
The Bluespotted Flathead can be recognised by its sandy colour, scattered blue spots, and the series of elongated dark blotches on the tail. The blotches become progressively larger towards the bottom of the fin. The lower preopercular spine is distinctly longer than the upper.

Size range
The species grows to 68 cm in length.

Distribution
The species is officially recorded from southern Queensland to eastern Victoria but may occur as far west as eastern South Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus

Distribution by collection data
Ozcam map of Bluespotted Flathead specimens in the Australian Museums.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Habitat
The Bluespotted Flathead is found on sandy bottoms from shallow coastal bays and estuaries to well offshore.

Feeding and Diet
It eats crustaceans and other fishes.

Economic/social impacts
The Bluespotted Flathead is a commercial trawl species which is marketed in Australia under the name Blue-spotted Flathead.

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