(G. Cuvier, 1829)
The Tentacled flathead (Papilloculiceps longiceps) or Crocodilefish is a member of the order Scorpaeniformes, an order which also includes the scorpionfishes and stonefishes. It is found in the Western Indian Ocean; the Red Sea. The species now also occurs in the Mediterranean, having invaded as a Lessepsian migrant through the Suez Canal.
They are predatory bottom-dwelling fish, using their camouflage to ambush their prey.
Tentacled flatheads are mottled brown or green and grey, coloured ideally to be camouflaged with their habitat. They have eye lappets, which help to break up the outline of the iris and improve camouflage, and can reach a length of 70 cm.
Detail of lappets over eyes
Tentacled flatheads dwell in areas where the sea floor is soft or sandy and their camouflage is most effective, usually associated with reefs or rubble.
Tentacled flatheads are carnivorous, and will eat most fish small enough to fit in their mouth.
- Rodríguez, G.; Suárez, H. (2001). "Anthropogenic dispersal of decapod crustaceans in aquatic environments". Interciencia. 26 (7): 282–288.