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General information

Crocodilefishes are mottled brownish gray species of flatfish with fluorescent green markings criss-crossing its body. It often camouflages itself on sheltered or semi-exposed reefs.

Crocodilefishes are generally associated with marine reefs and to be found in tropical waters of the Philippines, Borneo, the Moluccas, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Palau, and Yap Island to Ishigaki Island. Its range extends as far as the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia. Crocodilefishes lives on sandy or rubble substrates near mangroves, seagrass or coral reefs, in very shallow water down to at least 30 meters. The rough and mottled nature of the substrate mimics the pattern on the fish, allowing for camouflage.

Crocodilefishes are bottom-dwelling ambush hunter and feeds largely on smaller fish and crustaceans. Rather than eat the local small fish called cleaner-wrasses, the crocodilefish allows them to clean its teeth in a symbiotic relationship. Little is known about the breeding habits of the Crocodile fish.

Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Platycephalidae
Genus: Cymbacephalus
Species: Only one is known (Cymbacephalus beauforti)