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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Spotted Scorpionfish Scorpaena plumieri

Resting quietly on the seabed, the spotted scorpionfish is almost invisible thanks to its mottled color and weedlike skin flaps that cover its head. However, if this fish is disturbed, it can open its large pectoral fins to display dramatic black and white-spotted patches. Flashing these “false eyes” is often enough to frighten off a potential predator, but if this does not work, the spines on its dorsal fin can inflict a poisonous sting.

Spotted Scorpionfishzoom image
Spotted Scorpionfishzoom image
Spotted Scorpionfishzoom image
  • Order Scorpaeniformes
  • Length Up to 18 in (45 cm)
  • Weight Up to 3 lb (1.5 kg)
  • Depth 3–200 ft (1–60 m)
  • Distribution Western Atlantic and eastern Atlantic around Ascension Island and St. Helena
Spotted Scorpionfish habitat mapzoom image