Platycephalus indicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Bartail flathead
Indian flathead,  Sunog,  Buya-buya,  Itang,  Kamangbuaya,  Sunog
Platycephalus indicus
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Platycephalidae (Flatheads)
Max. size:  100 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 3,500.0 g
Environment:  reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 20 - 200 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Philippines, north to southern Japan and Korea, south to northern Australia. Introduced into the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-13; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 13-13. Brownish or grayish above, whitish below; caudal fin 2-3 horizontal black stripes (Ref. 4315). Head strongly depressed. Preopercular spines 2, lower usually longest. Vomerine teeth in a single transverse band. Dorsal fin I,VII,I, I,I,VII,I or I,VIII, 13. Anteriormost lateral line scale usually with a small spine or ridge. Diagonal scale rows slanting backward above lateral line 83-107. Iris lappet a single elongated lobe. Identified by the distinctive color pattern on the caudal fin: centrally yellow and black stripes on upper and lower margins (Ref. 48635).
Biology:  Found on sandy and muddy bottoms of coastal waters (Ref. 5213, 48635). Frequently in estuaries, juveniles have been taken in freshwater. Taken by handlining and seining in shallow waters and by trawling at depths to 30 m, usually less (Ref. 9790). A good food fish (Ref. 4315) that is marketed fresh (Ref. 5284). Commercially cultured in Japan. Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 04 February 2009 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Also Ref. 5211, 12744.

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