Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Mail-cheeked fishes)
Family: Platycephalidae (Flatheads)
Genus: Platycephalus
Species: P. indicus

Callionymus indicus Linnaeus, 1758
Cottus insidiator Forsskål, 1775
Cottus madagascariensis Lacepède, 1801
Platycephalus insidiator (Forsskål, 1775)

Common/local names
English: Bartail flathead and Indian flathead
Bangladesh: Mur Bailla (মুর বাইলা)

Distributions: Indo-west Pacific (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Data deficient in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body elongate and strongly depressed head. Caudal fin with 2 or 3 horizontal dark bars and a prominent yellow bloch near middle of caudal fin. Lateral line slightly curved upwards along middle of depressed sides (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). 67-84 (usually 70-79) scales on lateral line (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Body color brownish or grayish dorsal with whitish below in adults.

Fin formula:
D1. VIII; D2. 12-13; P1. 17; P2. 1/5; A. 13 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D I/VIII+13; A 13; P. 18; V I 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Maximum lengths: 29 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005) and 100 cm (Huda et al., 2003).

Habitats: Bay of Bengal (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Also found in Sundarbans (Huda et al., 2003). This benthic fish found on sandy or muddy bottoms of the Godavari and Hooghly estuaries of India (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).



Forsskål PS (1775) Descriptiones animalium avium, amphibiorum, piscium, insectorum, vermium; quae in itinere orientali observavit… Post mortem auctoris edidit Carsten Niebuhr. Hauniae. Descriptiones animalium quae in itinere ad Maris Australis terras per annos 1772 1773 et 1774 suscepto, …: 1-20 + i-xxxiv + 1-164, map.

Huda MS and Haque ME. 2003. Field Guide to Finfishes of Sundarban, Aquatic Resource Division, Sundarban, Sundarban Biodiversity COnservation Project, Bangladesh Forest Department, Khulna, Bangladesh, p. 102.

IUCN Bangladesh (2000) Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

Lacepède BGE (1801) Histoire naturelle des poissons. Histoire naturelle des poissons. v. 3: i-lxvi + 1-558, Pls. 1-34.

Linnaeus C (1758) Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae. Systema Naturae, Ed. X, 1: 1-824.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 316-317.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 342-343.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 2, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 782-783.


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Bartail flathead, Platycephalus indicus (Linnaeus, 1758)

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Shams Galib

Shams works in freshwater ecosystems, primarily on fish diversity in terms of their availability, and richness; he is also interested in aquatic invasive species and their impacts on ecosystem. Email: [email protected] More...

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