Taenianotus triacanthus Lacep├Ęde, 1802
Leaf scorpionfish
photo by Messersmith, J.

Family:  Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes), subfamily: Scorpaeninae
Max. size:  10 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 5 - 135 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Galapagos Islands, north to Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to Australia and the Tuamoto Islands.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 12-12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8-11; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 5-6. Tan to reddish or brown in color (Ref. 4313). Has prickly papillae instead of scales. Dorsal fin high, 3rd or 4th spine longest; suborbital ridge without spines or with lump at head of ridge; preopercle with 2 indistinct spines only; body extremely compressed; soft dorsal fin attached to the caudal fin; coloration is variable, from nearly all yellow to red, brown or nearly black and variously mottled with darker pigment (Ref. 10482).
Biology:  Inhabits reef flats, outer reef slopes, current-swept channels, and rarely on lagoon reefs (Ref. 1602). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Solitary and usually immobile among algae or seagrass but effects hip movements resembling that of a leaf falling down from a tree. Molts twice a month with the skin breaking off first in the head region. Has the habit of mimicking a dead leaf by swaying from side to side (Ref. 37816). Feeds on small crustaceans and fishes (Ref. 9710); also feeds on larvae (Ref. 5503). Venomous spines.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 05 March 2015 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  venomous
Country info:   

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