Dec 052013

Masters at camouflage, the Spotted Scorpionfish (Scorpaena plumier) often goes unnoticed by divers and snorkelers.  This mainly bottom-dwelling species, common in the Caribbean and Atlantic, is typically found nestled between rocks, under overhangs or in small caves or nooks.  It’s coloration often matches its environment, rendering it nearly invisible.

We found the Scorpionfish below on Bari Reef in Bonaire last month.  It was about 10 inches (25.4 cm) long, and it was nestled under the same overhang on most days.

Spotted Scorpionfish - Bonaire

Spotted Scorpionfish – Bonaire

As with all marine creatures and species, look but don’t touch.  The Scorpionfish has venomous spines and may sting if provoked or touched.  Its  sting is intensely painful, but thankfully not fatal to humans.  Since it usually lies motionless on the bottom,  it’s fine for divers and photographers to admire its beauty in a calm and non-threatening manner.

Below is another Spotted Scorpionfish found by Mr. Reeftraveler in Bonaire.

Spotted Scorpionfish - photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

Spotted Scorpionfish – photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

The family Scorpaenidae includes both the Scorpionfish and the (now infamous in the Caribbean) Lionfish.  While we’re all aware of the Lionfish’s venomous reputation, the sting from its cousin the Scorpionfish is actually more potent and potentially more painful.

For further reading-

Scorpionfish Sting Information and Treatment 

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