A large mottled brownish-yellow catfish with stout
dorsal and pectoral-fin spines and five pairs barbels
surrounding the mouth. Estuary catfish have large
venomous dorsal and pectoral-fin spines that are capable
of inflicting very painful wounds. Habitat:
Endemic to temperate coastal waters of southern Australia,
from Moreton Bay, Queensland, to the Abrolhos Islands
(Western Australia), but absent from most of Victoria
and Tasmania; occurs in Eastern Victoria (to about
Lakes Entrance) and Duck River, northern Tasmania.
The Estuary Cobbler inhabits marine and estuarine
waters in bays and sandy or muddy inlets near river
mouths. Individuals live on sandy and muddy bottoms
in clear to turbid waters, often amongst rocks and
algae. They also occur amongst wrack (detached seagrass
and macroalgae) in the surf zone. The species is usually
nocturnal, and individuals often shelter in holes
and beneath rocky ledges during the day. Colouration:
Variously mottled dark brown to grey, often with speckles
of cream or yellow, underside of head and belly creamy.
Diet: Omnivore - feeds mostly at
night on fishes and benthic invertebrates including
crustaceans, molluscs and polychaete worms. Individuals
also consume algae and detritus. Etymology:
The species is named macrocephalus for its large head:
macro- (large) and cephalus (head).
Kirra, Queensland to Jervis Bay, New South Wales,
and Kingston, South Australia to Houtman Abrolhos
Islands, Western Australia and Duck River, Tasmania,
in near-shore and reef habitats. Type locality:
prise à Timor [in error, possibly for Tasmania,
Ferraris, C.J. Jr.,
2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary
types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2019. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 12/2019 ). Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2018,
Cnidoglanis macrocephalus in Fishes
of Australia. Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2018,Plotosus macrocephalus Valenciennes, 1840
in Cuvier & Valenciennes, Hist. Nat. Poiss.15:
428, pl. 449. Type Locality: Timor Island, southern
Malay Archipelago (probably in error for Tasmania,
Australia). Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen and J.E.
Hanley, 1989. Pisces. Petromyzontidae to
Carangidae. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Vol.
7. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra,