Significance to humans

Of the four families, only the platycephalids are a commercially important food source for humans. Flying gurnards occasionally are fished for human consumption, but the fisheries are primarily for personal use. Bembrids and ho-plichthyids do not have commercial fisheries, although the flesh of the ghost flatheads is supposed to be of good quality.

Although none of these fishes is as common in the aquarium trade as their lionfish or scorpionfish relatives, both dactylopterids (e.g., Dactyloptena orientalis and Dactylopterus volitans) and the crocodilefish (Cymbacephalus beauforti) occasionally are available in the aquarium trade.

1. Indian flathead (Platycephalus indicus); 2. Oriental helmet gurnard (Dactyloptena orientalis). (Illustration by Barbara Duperron)

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