Tag Archive: Scorpionfishes

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes)

Genus/species: Dendrochirus biocellatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: the body is stout and irregularly banded in brown and light orange. D. biocellatus has large, fan-like pectoral fins, and tall, quill-like dorsal fins. It is unique from other Lionfishes because of the two, feeler-like appendages on the chin. The Fu Manchu received its name from the long mustache appendages on the front of it’s mouth.

Length up to 5 inches

Dendrochirus biocellatus6287769897_0dbf3ffb24_b


DISTRIBUTIONHABITAT: The Fu Manchu Lionfish is found in the Indo-Pacific in deep crevices and caves on tropical coral reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: small fishes and shrimps.

Dendrochirus biocellatus6287770317_9ccf0044ea_b

REMARKS: Scorpionfishes have venomous quill-like spines to repel predators. Near the posterior fin false eyespots also confuse predators. They are mainly nocturnal inhabiting deep crevices and caves during the day.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Water is Life Surviving 2018

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes)

Genus/species: Scorpaena guttata


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Stocky, large mouth; large spiny head and large fan-shaped pectoral fin. Red to brown, pale mottled brown spots on body and fins. Length to 43 cm (17 inches).

DISTRIBUTION: Santa Cruz, California to the Gulf of California in tide pools to 183 m (600 ft), usually at depth less than 30 m (100 ft). Typically found in rocky areas of bays and along shore. Most active at night.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small crabs, also shrimp, octopuses and small fishes.

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Live to at least 21 years.


REPRODUCTION: Migrate extensivelyduring summer in order to form large spawning aggregations. Mature at two years old. Fertilization is internal. Females produce eggs imbedded in gelatinous walls of hollow pear-shaped structures, which are transparent or green. The “balloons” float near the surface and the eggs hatch in around five days.

REMARKS: Spines are venomous.

Southern California Marine CC14

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Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes)

Genus/species: Sebastapistes cyanostigma


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: large head, relatively smooth skin,spotted, usually yellow and white on a pinkish red background. No dark bars on underside of head. Common length : 6.4 cm or 2.5 inches.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:Tropical, Indo-Pacific. Typically found among the branches of Pocillopora corals in surge areas of seaward reefs. Also observed between the branches of the fire coral.

DIET IN THE WILD: Crustaceans and small fishes.


REMARKS: A master of camouflage, this small fish hide among corals, changing colors to match its background. A viewer of the Fire Coral Tank where this little fish resides may look directly at the fish and still not see it. A true scorpionfish, it uses the sharp venomous spines on its back for protection.


Venoms Cluster

Fire Coral exhibit, PR24

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