Scorpaenopsis oxycephala (Bleeker, 1849)
Tassled scorpionfish
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes), subfamily: Scorpaeninae
Max. size:  36 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range - 400 m
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and Sodwana Bay, South Africa (Ref. 4313) to the Mariana Islands (Ref. 9710), north to Taiwan; Palau and Guam in Micronesia; probably more widespread.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 12-12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-9; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 5-5. Highly variable in color. Adults 'bearded' with numerous tassels. Juveniles slender with tall dorsal fin (Ref. 48635). Third dorsal spine longest (2.05-2.5) in head; occipital pit absent or very shallow; snout very long (2.7-3.0 in head length); space between opercular spines naked; first dorsal spine short (1.85-2.5) in length of second spine; supraocular and postocular spines broadly joined in adults (only tip of supraocular spine showing) and flaring outward to form a shelf over posterior half of eye (Ref 42181).
Biology:  Inhabits clear-water outer reef slopes and channels from depths of 1 to at least 35 m, in areas with mixed rock and coral substrates. Venomous spines. Solitary on coral and rocky bottoms (Ref 90102).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 04 March 2015 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  venomous
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 12.06.92
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 19.03.15
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 31.08.94

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