Tassled Scorpionfish Facts
- The fascinating Tassled Scorpionfish remains an extremely dangerous species of ocean fish and one of roughly 100 types of known scorpionfish.
- The species possesses numerous venomous spines for defense and has the ability to use them to deliver an extremely painful sting.
- Though not overtly aggressive, it still must be considered dangerous due to the fact that unwary swimmers frequently step on them.
- Its numbers seem sufficiently stable, unlike many denizens of our oceans. There, the IUCN currently lists this creature as a Species of Least Concern.
Tassled Scorpionfish Physical Description
The truly remarkable Tassled Scorpionfish attains an average length of about 14 in (25 cm). However, the majority of individuals do not attain this length.
Also, the coloring varies greatly among individuals. In fact, the species appears to be a master of camouflage and can vary its color patterns to blend in with its particular surroundings.
However, the majority of colors displayed typically includes bright shades of red, orange, yellow, and white. These typically reflect its surroundings.
The most recognizable feature, along with the rather brilliant colors, remains the tassel-like structures on the body, for which the species was named.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Scorpaeniformes
- Family: Scorpaenidae
- Genus: Scorpaenopsis
- Species: S. oxycephala
Tassled Scorpionfish Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Tassled Scorpionfish evolved as endemic to both the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. It also prefers to inhabit the slopes of coral reefs which provide it numerous locations to lay in wait for its prey.
The species most commonly spends the majority of its time in shallower waters and typically lives at depths of no more than 115 ft (35 m).
The animal primarily feeds on a variety of crustaceans and small fish and has an incredibly fast method of attack. It will open its mouth wide, and create powerful suction.
This literally draws the prey into its mouth, without having to move. In most species, the process occurs more rapidly than the human eye can follow.