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Species guide

Black scorpionfish

Scientific name: Scorpaena porcus

DESCRIPTION:

The black scorpionfish is a species with a thick body, more or less compressed and a large head with poisonous needles. Its eyes are large and its mouth is wide, oblique, terminal, with small, fine teeth. As a defence mechanism it has poisonous needles located on the dorsal, anal, ventral fins and on the operculae. It has a cryptic colouring that helps it to blend into the bed.

Its maximum size is 25 cm.

BIOLOGY:

It is a highly territorial, solitary species that remains still on the rocks in order not to be seen. It is basically active at nightfall.

It feeds on crustaceans and small fish. This hunter waits motionless for its prey and then leaps forward instantly to suck it in with its large mouth.

Its reproduction is oviparous. The female lays her eggs and encloses them in a transparent, mucous mass between July and August.

HABITAT:

This is a fish that lives on rocky beds and in areas of seaweed.

DISTRIBUTION:

It is found in the Mediterranean and the eastern Atlantic from Great Britain to Senegal.

STATUS:

Species not evaluated (according to the red list of threatened species).

CURIOSITIES:

This fish is characterised by its good camouflage, as it has cryptic colours, that is, colours that allow it to blend into its surroundings.