Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Neomerinthe hemingwayi, Spinycheek Scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no pit behind eyes
ridge under eye - 3 spines
D 10.5
LL under soft D: 3 dark spots
scales rough
snout 1.1-1.7 x eye
pectoral - central rays longest, upper rays branched
60-70 scale rows above LL

Neomerinthe hemingwayi Fowler, 1935

Spinycheek Scorpionfish

Elongate, robust body; snout 59-91% of eye diameter; bone bearing nostrils with 2 down-pointing spines on its lower edge before eye, and another side-pointing spine on its side at rear; bony ridge under and behind eye with 3 spines; teeth on sides of roof of mouth; preopercule with only 1, central spine; pectoral fin wedge-shaped, 16-18, usually 17 rays, longest rays in center, rays 3-8 branched at tip in adults; dorsal fin XII, 10.5 (rarely 9.5) rays (last is split to base and counted as 1.5); body scales rough, 60-70 longitudinal rows above lateral line; lateral line extends to tail fin.

Reddish brown; back and sides mottled and spotted with dark; lateral line under soft dorsal with a group of 3 dark spots; dorsal fin heavily mottled and spotted; tail fin heavily spotted; pectorals irregularly spotted.

Reaches 40 cm.

Lives on hard bottoms.

Depth range: 31-253 m.

New Jersey south to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 31
Depth Range Max
  • 253