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Scorpaena scrofa (Linnaeus, 1758)



Original drawing in "Guid d'identification des poissons marins Europe et Mediterranee" by Patrick Louisy


Family: SCORPAENIDAE

Length: Usually 30 cm, but it can reach the 50 cm.

Depth: from 10 to 500 meters

Distribution: Eastern Atlantic (rare in British islands). Senegal, Madeira, Canary islands, Cape Verde. Through out the Mediterranean Sea, absent from the Black Sea.

Food: Feeds on crustaceans, moluscs and fishes.

General information: The species is a nocturnal hunter. It lives in borrows and caves of reefs during the day and it comes out from its shelter to hunt at night. It is the largest species of the eastern Atlantic scorpion fishes. The south African populations seem the same as eastern Atlantic ones. The supraorbital tentacles of the species are long. It is venomous and its venom hurts a lot. It adapts well in captivity. It is considered as precious bouillabaisse ingredient.

Photo was taken in about 30 meters in a typical Mediterranean reef near Syros island by G. Rigoutsos (hobbyist scuba diver, member of the Nautical Ecological & Cultural Association of Kini Bay).

(Spring 2001)

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