Lacy Scorpionfish (Rhinopias aphanes)

Family: Scorpaenidae

Eight interesting facts about the Lacy Scorpionfish:

1. The Lacy Scorpionfish is a beautiful rare fish species that is highly sought after by photographers.

2. It is also commonly referred to as the ‘Weedy Scoripionfish' or the Merlet's Scorpionfish'. It was first described by Eschmeyer in 1973.

3. It is a member of the Scorpaenidae family and this family contains the world's most venomous fishes, many of them which are brightly coloured to serve warning to potential predators. Generally their dorsal spines bear venomous glands which can be incredibly painful if touched.

4. This fish can be found in the waters of the Asian Pacific region and is known to occur from southern Japan to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and across to New Caledonia. One of the best locations to regularly see this fish is at Loloata Island in Papua New Guinea where several different colour variations are known to occur.

5. The Lacy Scorpionfish can be recognised by its distinctive head shape, the large upturned mouth, dangly tentacles on the snout and the species varies in colour from yellow to brown, purple, green or black and is covered by a maze-like pattern.

6. This species is a master of camouflage and blends in very well with its background and quite often can be seen hiding under plate corals and ledges on coral reefs. It also remains well disguised when hiding in amongst crinoids as it blends in with the fine fronds of the feathery invertebrate.

7. It is known to occur on coral reefs from depths of 5 to 30 metres.

8. The Lacy Scorpionfish grows to a maximum length of approximately 30cm.

Back to Articles