scorpaenopsis oxycephala (Tassled scorpionfish)


Long humped snout, eye cirri absent in adult specimens, prominent skin filaments/tassels on the lower head, between 60 and 64 small scales in lateral row on the side. Highly variable in color and markings.


Unassessed by the IUCN Red list, but considered a common species.


Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea South Africa to the Mariana Islands, north to Taiwan; Palau and Guam in Micronesia, but possibly also spread further. They can be found on clear-water outer reef slopes and channels, in areas with mixed rock and coral substrates, in a depth range of 1-43 meters.



Up to 36cm.

Prey / Predation

They feed on small fish and crustaceans. They are typical ambush feeders, waiting silently until prey passes by, and then lunge forward – using their big pectoral fins – opening their mouth to snap up their prey.

Special features

It has venomous spines, so should never be touched!