Photo copyright Tim Nicholson.
Taken in the Egyptian Red Sea.
Carpet Flathead Fish (Crocodilefish), Papiloculiceps longiceps
Mainly lives on sand and rubble near coral heads, although you might also find it in patches of seagrass. It ranges from the Red Sea to Durban, to the Seychelles and Madagascar. It stays shallow: between 1 and 15 m.
The flatheads are flattened fishes. They have two dorsal fins and bony ridges and spines on their heads. The body is mottled above, whitish below. The Carpet Flathead grows to 70 cm. It is a very placid fish which, confident in its camouflage, lets you approach closely. Although related to scorpion fish it is harmless.