Scorpionfishes have large, heavily ridged and spined heads. Venomous spines on their back and fins with a groove and venom sack. The small-scaled scorpion fish has well-developed supraorbital cutaneous appendages and a distinctly marked occipital dimple. The body and fins are dark brown to almost black with various sized lighter and darker areas. There are three dark vertical bands on the caudal fin.
Scorpion fish are sedentary and live on the seabed where they hide to catch their preys: they are masters of camouflage. They reproduce between May and August and produce a floating, gelatinous mass in which the eggs are embedded. The spiny rays of the dorsal fin are venomous and have a longitudinal groove connected to a basal venom gland which can inject a powerful toxin. The sting can be extremely painful though one of the most immediate remedies is to soak the wound in the hottest water the person can tolerate for 30 to 90 minutes as the venom deactivates at high temperatures.