Scorpion fish (scorpaena notata)
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Common name Scorpion fish
Scientific name Scorpaena notata
Class Osteichthyes
Order Scorpaeniformes
Family Scorpaenoidae
Distribution The Mediterranean, parts of the Black Sea and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Gascony Gulf to Senegal.
Habitat rocky and/or detrital substrates and amid surface algae and meadows of Posidonia oceanica to depths of over 100 m.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 20 cm
Characteristicts Dark marks on the back, slight appendices above the eyes and three spines along the upper lip.

Scorpionfishes have large, heavily ridged and spined heads. Venomous spines on their back and fins with a groove and venom sack. Well camouflaged with tassels, warts and coloured specks. They are usually red with a lot of dark markings on the fins and there is almost always a dark mark at the back of the spiny dorsal 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.