Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Scorpaena bergii, Goosehead Scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

ridge under eye: 1 spine
short branched cirrus over eye
large pit behind eyes
D large spot between spines IV-VII
C - 3 bars, A - 3 stripes
bone over front mouth: 2 spines point down
pectoral 16-17
A 3rd spine not > 2nd
scales smooth

Scorpaena bergii Evermann & Marsh, 1900

Goosehead Scorpionfish

Head very bony, with numerous spines; spine present behind front nostril; adults with a well developed pit on top of head behind eyes, a pair of spines before that pit; eye moderate; a pair of small, branched cirri above eyes; 1st (topmost) preopercular spine the largest; bone over front of mouth with 2 spines pointing down and forwards; ridge under eye with 1 spine, at rear; roof of mouth with teeth on sides but not on center; no slit behind last gill arch; dorsal fin XII, 9.5; anal III, 5, 3rd spine shorter than 2nd; pectoral 16-17, with some upper rays branched in adult, fin reaching 1st anal fin spine; scales relatively large, smooth; lateral line complete; skin flaps on body along lateral line and below it.

Brown; a large dark blotch on dorsal spines IV-VII; tail fin with dark bars on its base, center and rear edge; pelvics clear, with a dusky tip; anal fin with 3 dark stripes.

Reaches 10 cm.

Turtle grass beds in clear water reefs, including around reefs; mainly at islands.

Depth range: 0-75 m, usually < 7 m.

The Carolinas to the southern Caribbean; also Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • 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
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 10
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 75