Black scorpionfish (Scorpaena porcus)
|Researched by||Al Reeve||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandThe south coast of England represents the northern limit of Scorpaena porcus. It is an infrequent visitor to the coastal waters off the south coast and is unlikely to be seen very often.
HabitatScorpaena porcus is a benthic species found from the littoral zone down to a depth of around 800 m. Usually seen motionless and solitary amongst rocks and algae on the seabed.
- Brown or orangy brown in colour and growing up to 37 cm in length.
- Three dark vertical bars on the caudal fin.
- Numerous well developed skin appendages and spines.
- Large fleshy appendage behind eye.
- Light spot on skin between the eigth and ninth dorsal spine.
Additional informationScorpaena porcus is similar to Scorpaena scrofa in morphology and distribution. However, Scorpaena scrofa occurs in water between 20 -110 m, is a brighter orange colour and has less well developed spines behind the operculum. Scorpaena scrofa also grows to a length of 51 cm.
Spines of the dorsal, pelvic and anal fins of black scorpionfish have venom glands at their bases. The venomous spines cause an intense pain and throbbing to people stung by it. Treatment is to immerse the affected area in water heated to tolerance level and to disinfect the afflicted area.This species is also known as the small-scaled scorpionfish (D. Herdson, pers. comm.)
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Last Updated: 02/01/2007