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Species guide

Scorpion fish

Scientific name: Scorpaena scrofa

DESCRIPTION:

The scorpion fish is a combination of red, yellow, orange and brown stains that give it a cryptic colouring (camouflage). As a defence mechanism, it has poisonous needles located in front of the dorsal, anal, ventral fins and on the operculum, which characterises these kinds of animals. It has a strong body, slightly compressed and a large head. Its mouth is very large with small appendices over the nasal orifices.
Its maximum size is 50 cm.

BIOLOGY:

These are solitary fish, territorial, and live on the bed. They remain totally immobile until they are threatened, and then they raise a small “veil” and stop after a few metres.

It is a carnivorous species that feeds on fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

Its reproduction is oviparous. It lays its eggs in spring and summer between the months of May and August.

HABITAT:

It is a benthonic species of mainly rocky beds, although it is also found on sandy beds. It usually lives at depths of 20 to 200 m.

DISTRIBUTION:

It lives in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic (from Great Britain to Senegal).

STATUS:

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

CURIOSITIES:

When they are captured they raise their needles and seem to inflate with their mouth open, showing all their poisonous needles.

 

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