Scorpaena plumieri mystes
Family: SCORPAENIDAE (Scorpionfishes)
The head and body of the scorpionfish is as deep as broad and is covered with numerous skin flaps or large (cirri). Its color is highly variable, but is commonly a drab mottled mixture of gray, brown, red, and black
Size: Length to 0.5 m (1.5 feet)
Range and Habitat
Range: Baja California to Ecuador, including the Galapagos and other offshore islands.
Habitat: Scorpionfishes are bottom-living predators, lying on rocky and sandy bottoms. They occur at a variety of depths from shallow tidepools to the oceanic abyss.
Scorpionfishes are named for their venomous dorsal, anal, and pelvic spines, which contain a toxic protein. They remain mostly stationary during daylight, but are active at night. Their food consists mostly of crustaceans and small fishes.
The color patterns of the body blend well with the surroundings, providing camouflage that enables them to remain undetected by their prey.
Text by Patricia Beller
Photograph from Ocean Oasis © 2000 CinemaCorp of the Californias
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