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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes > Family Platycephalidae
Fringe-eyed flathead
Cymbacephalus nematophthalmus*
Family Platycephalidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This fish with a flat head and a delicate fringe over its eyes is commonly seen on many of our shores, in sandy and coral rubble areas near reefs.

Those seen 6-20cm, but said to reach up to 58cm. It has 6-9 skin tentacles over the eye (most flatheads lack tentacles or just have one 'lid'), bony ridges on the head with spines. It has 7-8 dusky bars on the back and sides and its fins has variegated patterns.

What does it eat? It is carnivorous, feeding on creatures that live on the sea bottom.

Pulau Sekudu, Apr 07

About 2cm long. A juvenile?
Tanah Merah, Aug 09

Bony ridges over the head with spines.

Elaborate tentacles over the eyes.

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Fringe-eyed flatheads on Singapore shores

Photos of Fringe-eyed flatheads for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Labrador, Aug 17
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

East Coast-Marina Bay, Oct 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Seringat-Kias, Jun 09
Photo shared by Liana Tang on her blog.

Pulau Tekukor, May 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Senang, Jun 10
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her flickr.

Labrador, Sep 09
Photo shared by Neo Mei Lin on her blog.

Beting Bronok, May 11
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Filmed in Aug 08 on Pulau Semakau

flathead fish@semakau....gone in a flash! from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
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