SCORPIONFISH
SCORPAENIDAE
Spotted Scorpionfish
Scorpaena plumieri
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size Diet Behaviour Sex 
R, Co 45 Pisc, Cru Ter F
 
 
Description:
Head large. Its colour is variable. It has
3 dark bars on the tail. Rear of pectoral fin, near the base is black with white spots (only Scorpionfish in Antigua with large white spots),which are displayed when disturbed. This species has an occipital pit at the rear of the head and 3-4 spines on the preorbital bone pointing downwards towards the maxilla.

Ecology
Mostly found in shallow coral reef and rocky areas, but also occurs offshore to depths of about 60 m. It is very territorial most of the time. It is piscivorous, feeding mainly on other fish larvae and juveniles, as well as crustaceans. It usually lies motionless on the ocean floor awaiting an opportunity to surprise potential prey. Has numerous venomous spines: 12 Dorsal, 1 on each pelvic fin and 3 on the anal fin. It is one of the most venomous fish in Antigua (but not poisonous).
When disturbed it confused predators by displaying the white spots in the pectoral axil as it slowly swims away, then suddenly stops and turns and dives to the bottom. This stirs up a cloud of sand/ mud and covers the white markings. By the time the silt clears, the fish is highly camouflaged and near invisible.

Spotted Scorpionfish
Spotted Scorpionfish
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Spotted Scorpionfish
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