Flathead (Dusky)

Dusky flathead

Scientific name

Platycephalus fuscus


Colour varies from sandy with brown spots and blotches to dark brown/black with white spots. They have a distinctive black spot on their caudal fins. Dark bars are often visible across the rear of the body. The preopercular spines on each side of the head are very sharp and should be avoided when handling the fish.


Maximum 15 kg and a length of 1.5 m.


Dusky Flathead are found in estuaries and coastal bays, from Cairns in Queensland to the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria. They occur over sand, mud, gravel and seagrass and can inhabit estuarine waters up to the tidal limit. They are more commonly caught during the summer months.

Confusing species

Distinguished from other flathead by the black spot at the caudal end of the tail.