Bartail Flathead


Name: Bartail Flathead

Local name: Awhra

Scientific name: Platycephalus indicus

Classification: Class: ray-finned fishes; Order: scorpionfishes; Family: flatheads (Platycephalidae)

Size: It commonly grows to around 60 cm and may reach a maximum length of 1 m.


The Bartail Flathead occurs in coastal waters on sandy and muddy bottoms from shallow areas to depths of about 25 m. It feeds on fish.


It is widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Philippines, north to Japan and Korea, and south to Australia.

Conservation status:

In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species global assessment it is listed as Data Deficient (DD); in the Arabian Gulf regional assessment it has been classified as Least Concern (LC). A good food fish that is regularly found in markets, it is taken by handline and seine.


Flatheads are characterized by their strongly depressed head with a large mouth and bony ridges bearing spines. The body is moderately elongate and also flattened. The eyes are oriented dorsally and the dorsal part of the iris has a lappet that extends over part of the pupil. The dorsal surface of the body is olivaceous to light brown with dark blotches along the midside and indistinct dark bars may be present. The caudal fin is white, with a central yellow area and two or three short horizontal black bars.