Tiger Flathead

Platycephalus Richardsoni
Tiger Flathead - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Platycephalus Richardsoni
Other names Deepsea Flathead, King Flathead, Spiky Flathead, Teethies, Toothy Flathead, Trawl Flathead
Size Up to 70 cm (27.5 in)
Weight Up to 3 kg (6.6 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal & deeper waters, sandy, rubble & silty areas
Depth Range
Tiger Flathead Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Tiger Flathead are typically a solitary fish but can be found in groups when mating. They are commonly found in sandy, gravel, middy and seagrass areas in tidal zones and estuarine environments.
  • Different to most in its species, Tiger Flathead have a swim bladder permitting them to feed in midwater.
  • These flathead are carnivores and ambush hunters, feeding on smaller fish, squid and crustaceans.
  • Estimated lifespan is around 15 years with the fish maturing at around 3 to 5 years of age.
  • Younger Tiger Flathead can be found in brackish waters and then move to deeper waters as they mature..
  • Like other flathead, they have venomous spines. The spikes are on both sides of their head and on top of their head.
  • The main predators of the Tiger Flathead include sharks and larger predatory fish.
Species Interaction

Commercial & Recreational Fishing

Tiger Flathead are a popular recreational fish known for its excellent eating and strong fight. They are regularly targeted in bays and coastal waters.

Tiger Flathead are commercially fished by trawlers during the autumn and winter months.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Platycephalidae

Genus: Platycephalus

Species: Platycephalus richardsoni

Conservation Status

There is little information on the conservation status of the Tiger Flathead. This species has not been evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
However, as its a fast growing species, there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Tiger Flathead are a good table fish. Often served whole or as fillets.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch
Tiger Flathead

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Anchovy, Fresh cut flesh baits, Herring, Lures, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Worms, Yabbies, Soft plastics, Live minnow

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure