Platycephalus indicus   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, JE

Size: 60-100 cm.

Max. weight reported: 3,500 gm.

Color: Brownish or grayish above, whitish below; Several indistinct dark bands crossing back in some individuals, small dark blotches on back and head in others. Pectoral and pelvic fins with numerous brown blotches; caudal fin with 2 or 3 horizontal black bars near rear margin with white borders.

Body is much compressed. Height 11.3-12.6, 12.9-14.7 in length with caudal. Greatest breadth at origin of pectorals, 4.4-4.8 in length with out caudal. Head 3-3.3, 3.5-3.8 in length with caudal. Eye 6.2-8.9, 1.9-2.6 in snout. Interorbital space scarcely concave, less than eye in young, much more than eye in large specimens. Anterior and posterior nostrils both with a low rim. Mouth large, lower jaw projecting. Maxillary reaching to below middle of eye. A broad band of villiform teeth in the upper jaw, some of the inner teeth near symphysis caninoid. In the lower jaw a row of rather large crowded teeth and several rows of smaller teeth at their outer side, more numerous near symphysis. Vomer with a single transverse curved band of small teeth caninoid ones at the inner side of its extremities. A single row of large caninoid teeth on palatines. Tongue smooth. Preorbital with two indistinct blunt spines. Supraorbital ridge very low and low and almost smooth, converging from eye backwards, more so in large specimens, where the eyes are farther apart, they end posteriorly in a number of radiating, fan like low ridges, which again are continued as a single pair of superior postorbital ridges, provided with a small spine, directed backwards. Inferior postorbital ridge with similar very low spines. Suborbital ridge smooth, ending in an upturned, strong, but short preopercular spine, a second, longer spine below it. One flat opercular spine. A smooth suprascapular ridge ends pointed posteriorly. Head above covered with small ctenoid scales, 14-20 rows of scales between occiput and origin of dorsal. First dorsal spine minute, separate, not attached to second spine by membrane. Third dorsal spine longest, about equal to eye and snout, the lower jaw included. Last dorsal spine minute. Second dorsal separated from first dorsal by 4-6 scales. First ray of second dorsal longest, short than third dorsal spine, simple or indistinctly forked, following rays forked. Origin of anal below that of second dorsal, all of its rays forked, about of same depth as second dorsal. Pectorals with a number of the median rays forked, the fin rounded, about as long as eye and snout, the lower jaw included. Ventrals far apart, their origin between that of pectorals and of dorsal, the inner rays longest and equal to post orbital part of head. Caudal truncate. Scales of upper parts ctenoid, of lower parts cycloid. Dorsal spines (total): 9 - 10, Dorsal soft rays (total): 13 - 13, Anal spines: 0, Anal soft rays: 13.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Callionymus chaca Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822
Callionymus indicus Linnaeus, 1758
(Senior synonym)
Platycephalus insidiator Day, 1870
Thysanophrys indicus (Munro, 1955)
Cottus insidiator Forsskal, 1775
(Junior synonym)
Cottus madagascariensis Lacepede, 1801
(Junior synonym)
Platycephalus insidiator (Forsskal, 1775)
(Junior synonym)
Platycephalus spathula Bloch, 1795
Platycephalus spatula Bloch Schneider, 1801
Platycephalus endrachtensis Quoy and Gaimard, 1824
Platycephalus insidiator Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829
Platycephalus insidiator Bleeker, 1849
Platycephalus insidiator Cantor, 1850
Platycephalus insidiator Gunther, 1860
Platycephalus insidiator Kner, 1867
Platycephalus insidiator Klunzinger, 1870
Platycephalus insidiator Day, 1876
Platycephalus indicus Bleeker, 1878
Platycephalus insidiator Macleay, 1881
Platycephalus insidiator Klunzinger, 1884
Platycephalus insidiator Sauvage, 1891
Platycephalus indicus Steindachner, 1896
Platycephalus insidiator Evermann and Seale, 1906
Platycephalus insidiator Jordan and Seale, 1910
Platycephalus indicus Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Platycephalus insidiator Gilchrist and Thompson, 1908
Platycephalus indicus Barnard, 1927
Platycephalus indicus Fowler, 1928
Platycephalus indicus Wu, 1931
Platycephalus indicus J. L. B. Smith, 1935
Platycephalus indicus Herre, 1939
Platycephalus indicus J. L. B. Smith, 1950

Common Name (s)
• Chouurdah
• Arrawuddah
• Indian Flathead (English)
• Sand Gurnard (English)
• Indian Flat Head (English)
• Balchat (Kannada)
• Orathal (Malayalam)
• Mench (Marathi)
• Ulupathi (Tamil)
• Oolpathy (Tamil)
• Irrwa (Telugu)
• Bar tail Flat Head
• Bartail Flathead (English)
• Tokoro
• Nilanthatti
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Food fish, marketed fresh or frozen)
Cultured:  Yes

Habitat:  Benthic, Reef Associated, Estuarine, Sandy, Muddy
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Small invertebrates


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Goa, Marmagao Bay INDIA
• Red Sea
• Gulf of Oman
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1985-1987)
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala, Ponnani Estuary INDIA (Record: 03/1997-02/1999)
• Orissa, Chilika INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Pondicherry, Karaikal (Lat: 10.26) (Long: 79.85) INDIA (Record: 01/2003-12/2003)
• Kerala INDIA
• Arabian Sea (Lat: 15.66) (Long: 69.36) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 50-80 mts)
• Arabian Sea (Lat: 21) (Long: 73.33) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 50-80 mts)
• West Bengal, Digha Mohana (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA (Record: 1981-1982)
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Athankarai Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA (Record: 1948-1950)
• Orissa, Gopalpur INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Cuddalore Coast INDIA (Record: 12/2008)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Gujarat, Jakhau-Babber Creek (Lat: 23.5) (Long: 68.6) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Medi-Sinthodi Creek (Lat: 23.45) (Long: 68.48) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Gujarat, Sangi-Kharo Creek (Lat: 23.28) (Long: 68.51) INDIA (Record: 01/1999-12/2000)
• Andhra Pradesh, Off Visakhapatnam (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.55) INDIA (Record: 04/1989-03/1990) (Depth: 50 mts)
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Maharashtra, Malvan (Lat: 16.07) (Long: 73.47) INDIA

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Page last updated on:2012-01-31

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