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Scorpaenidae
ROCKFISHES
Rockcods; Thornyheads; Sebastidae; Scorpionfishes

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Scorpaenodes xyris
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Scorpaenodes xyris
Scorpaenodes
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Scorpaenodes

Scorpaenodes xyris
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Scorpaenodes xyris
Pontinus sierra
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Pontinus sierra

Pontinus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Pontinus
Pontinus furcirhinus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Pontinus furcirhinus

Pontinus vaughani
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Pontinus vaughani
Pontinus sp sftep a
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Pontinus sp_sftep_a

Scorpaena sonorae
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Scorpaena sonorae
Scorpaena russula
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Scorpaena russula

Scorpaena histrio
© Copyright Clay Bryce, 2006 · 0
Scorpaena histrio
Scorpaena guttata
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Scorpaena guttata

Scorpaena mystes
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Scorpaena mystes
Scorpaena
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Scorpaena

Scorpaenidae
© Copyright Clay Bryce, 2006 · 0
Scorpaenidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • head: large spiny, with ridges
  • 1 dorsal fin with venomous spines
  • mouth large,oblique
  • pectoral: large fan
FAMILY SCORPAENIDAE

SCORPIONFISHES

Scorpionfishes obtain their name from the venomous fin spines possessed by many of the species in this family. Other characteristics include a bony ridge across the cheek; the head is relatively large and spiny, the cheek margin has 3-5 spines, there are one or two spines on the opercle, and other spines are scattered on the head. There is a single dorsal fin that is usually strongly notched at the rear of the spiny part and consists of VII-XVIII spines and 4-14 soft rays; the anal fin has II-IV spines and 5-14 soft rays. Scorpionfishes are bottom living predators that occur in a variety of depths from shallow tide pools to the oceanic abyss. Most reef species are secretive, dwelling in caves and crevices. They usually remain stationary during daylight, but are nocturnally active, feeding mostly on crustaceans and fishes. Scorpaenids often exhibit variegated color patterns that blend well with their surroundings, thus enabling them to remain undetected by their prey. The dorsal, anal, and pelvic spines are all venomous. Poison is produced by glandular tissue in longitudinal grooves on each side of the spine. Wounds from the spines vary from bee-sting intensity to unbelievable agony in Indo-West Pacific genera such as Synanceia (stonefishes) and Pterois. Immersion of the injured limb in very hot water helps alleviate the pain, but treatment by a physician may be required.

Scorpionfishes are found in all temperate and tropical seas and are commercially important in some areas. Most of the estimated nearly 161 species and 21 genera occur in the Indo-Pacific; only a few (12 species from 4 genera; one Indo-Pacific, the rest endemic) are found in shallow areas in our region, but numerous species occur in the adjacent temperate seas, the north and south.


References
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