|Armoured flathead, Hoplichthys haswelli
Drawing by Dr Tony Ayling
Hoplichthyidae is a family of scorpaeniform fishes native to the Indo-Pacific Oceans, commonly known as ghost flatheads. The genus Monhopolichthys is of uncertain status and is need of further investigation.
They are elongate fishes with very broad and strongly depressed heads, bearing spines and ridges. They are scaleless. The lateral line contains spiny scutes. The pectoral fin has three or four lower rays free. The pelvic fins are widely set apart. They are benthic from about 10 to 1,500 m, with a maximum length of 43 cm.