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Eschmeyer’s scorpionfish

Rhinopias eschmeyeri

Description: The Eshmeyer’s scorpionfish (Rhinopias eschmeyeri) has a deep, laterally compressed body, eyes that are set high on top of its head and two tentacles on the underside of its lower jaw. It has venomous spines on its back and fins, with a groove and venom sack (venom is secreted from the sack and coats the spines). It’s body color is usually uniform and can be brick red, lilac, orange or yellow. The skin appendages are unbranched and flattened. Like other scorpionfish, the Eshmeyer’s, is camouflaged well with tassels, warts and colored specks.

Size: They can reach a maximum length of 7.5 inches (19 cm).

Behavior: Eschmeyer’s scorpionfish are solitary creatures, living in caves or reefs, but may be found in pairs during mating season. They use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings. These fish rarely swim, but move about by hobbling along the bottom on their pectoral and pelvic fins. When hunting, they remain motionless and wait for their prey to approach within striking distance or use rocking movements that mimic debris. When they are close to their prey, they lunge or hop forward and suck in their meal. They are able to shed their outer epidermal layer (cuticle) to rid their body of algae, parasites or encrusting organisms.

Diet: They feed on crustaceans, cephalopods and small fish.

Reproduction: Scorpionfish are oviparous, which means they lay eggs. The eggs are laid in a clear or greenish, gelatinous mass that floats near the surface. The eggs hatch within five days.

Habitat/range: They occur on open sandy bottoms in the Indo-West Pacific from around Sri Lanka, to the Phillippines and into Indonesia.

Status: Has not been evaluated.