Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Pontinus nematophthalmus, Spinythroat Scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout short (~eye)
before eye: 2 back-pointing spines
no pit behind eyes
D no spines elongated
long V bone points down under throat
pectoral 16, no rays branched
scales rough

Pontinus nematophthalmus (Gunther, 1860)

Spinythroat Scorpionfish

Head very bony, with numerous spines, without pit behind eye; cirrus over eye, when present is long (~2X eye), slender; snout short, ~eye; ridge under eye with 3-4 spines; uppermost preopercular spine longest, 2nd spine reduced but seldom absent; bone above mouth before eye with 2 back-pointing spines, plus a small spine often on its side; teeth on roof of mouth at sides but not on center; slit present behind last gill arch; a long, down-pointing V shaped bone at junction of front rays of gill membranes under throat; dorsal fin XII (none notably elongated), 8.5-9.5; anal fin III+5; pectoral with longest rays in center, 16 (15-17) rays, all unbranched; scales rough, present on cheek, behind eye and on chest; lateral line complete, with tubes on scales.

Reddish; often 4 ill-defined dark saddles on back.

Reaches 14 cm.

Rocky and shell bottoms.

Depth range: 82-698 m.

Georgia to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • 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
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 14
Depth Range Min
  • 82
Depth Range Max
  • 698