Platycephalus laevigatus

Rock flathead
Platycephalus laevigatus
Platycephalus laevigatus, Port Phillip Bay, VIC, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith


Temperate Australasia


Dark mottled appearance, a rounded body, and several rows of dark spots along the rays of the tail. It occurs commonly in seagrass beds and on flat vegetated reefs, particularly in the larger Victorian bays. The rock flathead is the most highly regarded of flathead species for its flavour.


Max Size: 50 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 11.2-22.9°C

Depth: 0-20m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Frequent (10.2% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney