Platycephalus crocodilus   Tilesius,  1812 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service

Size: 118-330 mm

Color: Back brownish, becoming lighter below, sides of head and body with irregular dark patches. Spinous dorsal hyaline; soft dorsal and anal hyaline, rays often vaguely spotted; pectoral and ventral with dark transverse bands.

Body compressed. Head 3.0-3.2 in standard length, 3.7-4.0 in total length. Depth of body 7.6-8.5 in standard length, 8.8-9.9 in total length. Eye diameter 4.4-5.0 in head, 1.3-1.4 in snout and 0.5 in concave interorbital space. Maxillary reaching behind a level from the front border of eye. Teeth in villiform bands in jaws, in two patches on vomer and in a long narrow band on palatines. Two short spines between anterior nostrils. Orbital rim with a spine in front, supraorbital ridge serrated posteriorly and ending in superior postorbital ridge with one or two spines. Inferior postorbital ridge with 4 to 6 spines. Suborbital ridge with 3 or 4 spines, preopercle angle with 2 spines, the upper one longer than the lower. Two opercular spines. A feebly developed flap on subopercle. Pectoral fin equal to or a little longer than snout and eye. Ventral fin shorter than head. Anterior 2 or 3 scales of lateral line with small spines.
Number of spines in the first dorsal fin: IX; number of spines and rays in the second dorsal fin: i, 10-11; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: i, 10-11; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 12, vii or ii, 13, vi or ii, 14, vi; number of scale rows along the midside of body from the upper corner of operculum to the midbase of caudal fin in the absence of lateral line: 88-97; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 7-8+1+19-21.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Platycephalus punctatus Cuvier, 1876
Platycephalus crocodilus Tilesius, 1812
Platycephalus punctatus Day, 1878
Thysanophrys crocodilus Munro, 1955
Platycephalus punctatus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829
Platycephalus punctatus Quoy and Gaimard, 1834
Platycephalus punctatus Bleeker, 1850
Platycephalus clavulatus Cantor, 1850
Platycephalus quoyi Bleeker, 1857
Platycephalus punctatus Gunther, 1860
Platycephalus malabaricus Kner, 1867
Platycephalus fasciatus Gunther, 1872
Platycephalus punctatus Day, 1876
Platycephalus quoyi Bleeker, 1879
Platycephalus punctatus Steindachner and Doderlein, 1887
Platycephalus punctatus Nystrom, 1887
Platycephalus punctatus Sauvage, 1891
Platycephalus punctatus Steindachiner, 1896
Platycephalus punctatus Jordan and Seale, 1907
Thysanophrys crocodilus Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Thysanophrys crocodilus Franz, 1910
Platycephalus crocodilus Barnard, 1927
Thysanophrys crocodilus Fowler, 1928
Thysanophrys crocodilus Wu, 1931
Platycephalus crocodilus Fowler, 1934
Coccius crocodilus Fowler, 1938
Platycephalus crocodilus J. L. B. Smith, 1950
Thysanophrys crocodilus Munro, 1955

Common Name (s)
• Cantors Flat Head (English)
• Valakka
• Spotted Flathead (English)
• Mench (Marathi)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial



• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vedalai INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Satapathy, D and Panda, S (2009) Fish atlas of Chilika Chilika Development Authority, Bhubaneswar 74 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Beaufort, LF and Briggs, JC (1962) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Pataudi House, Daryaganj, New Delhi 11 481 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-06-01

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