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Scorpionfishes/Stonefishes

General information


Scorpionfishes belong to the family „Scorpaenidae“ which contains around 45 genera and 380 species. Traditionally, the scorpionfishes and their relatives have been grouped with the sea robins. The Scorpaenoidei has a worldwide distribution in tropical and temperate marine waters. Most scorpaenoids are found primarily in the tropical Indo-Pacific. The other center of diversity for the scorpaenoids is the northern Pacific Ocean, which is dominated by the more than 80 species of rockfishes (Sebastidae). Almost all scorpaenoids are benthic predators that are found in rocky, sea grass, or coral habitats. Most Scorpionfishes are territorial and lead solitary lives, except for the formation of mating aggregations.

Scorpionfishes have large, heavily ridged and spined heads. Venomous spines on their back and fins with a groove and venom sack. Well camouflaged with tassels, warts and colored specks. Some scorpionfishes can change their color to better match their surroundings. They are not aggressive, but if threatened they will erect their dorsal spines. If danger continues they flee, usually very fast but only for a short distance and then quickly settle back and freeze. Some species like the devilfish have very bright red and yellow colors on the inner surface of their pectoral fins. Those colors are not visible when resting but are flashed if threatened.

Scorpionfishes feed on crustaceans and fishes employing a lie-in-wait strategy, remaining stationary and snapping prey that comes near. With their mouth they create a vacuum and suck prey in during a nearly imperceptible split-second movement.

Ablabys

Aetapcus

Apistus

Aploactisoma

Astroscopus

Coccotropsis

Cocotropus

Dendrochirus

Erosa

Gymnocanthus

Helicolenus

Hemitripterus

Ichthyscopus

Inimicus

Maxillicosta

Nautichthys

Neopataecus

Paracentropogon

Paraploactis

Parapterois

Parascorpaena

Pataecus

Prionotus

Ptarmus

Pteroidichthys

Pterois

Rhinopias

Scorpaena

Scorpaenodes

Scorpaenopsis

Sebastapistes

Skorpionsfisch

Synanceia

Taenianotus

Taurulus

Uranoscopus