Platycephalus speculator

Yank flathead | Souther Blue Spotted flathead
Platycephalus speculator
Platycephalus speculator, Fremantle, WA, Photo: Tom Davis
Platycephalus speculator
Platycephalus speculator, Maria Island, TAS, Photo: Scott Ling
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Platycephalus speculator
Platycephalus speculator


Temperate Australasia


Very similar in appearance to the sand flathead but is lighter in colour and has three or four well-defined black spots surrounded by white in the lower half of the tail. Behind the eye it has two long adjoining spines which are about the same length, whereas in the sand flathead the lower spine is considerably longer than the upper. The southern bluespotted flathead is common on patches of sand adjacent to seagrass beds.


Max Size: 90 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 11.5-23.4°C

Depth: 1-30m

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: Infrequent (3.4% 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