Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Scorpaena brachyptera, Shortfin Scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

iris yellow
ridge under eye: 3-4 spines
shallow pit behind eyes
D 8.5
pectoral 19-20, NOT reaching A origin, inside face yellow
scales smooth

Scorpaena brachyptera Eschmeyer, 1965

Shortfin Scorpionfish

Head very bony, with numerous spines; no spine behind front nostril; adults with a shallow pit on top of head behind eyes, a pair of spines before that pit; eye moderate; 1st (topmost) preopercular spine the largest; nasal bones freely movable; no slit behind last gill arch; bone over front of mouth with 2 spines pointing down and forwards, 1st is small and arched; ridge under eye strong, with 3-4 spines; roof of mouth with teeth on sides, but not on center; no slit behind last gill arch; dorsal fin XII, 8.5 (7.5-9.5); anal III,5; pectoral 19-20, with some upper rays branched in adult, fin short, not reaching 1st anal fin spine; scales relatively large, smooth; lateral line complete.

Pale reddish; head mottled with dark and yellow; iris yellow-red; inner face of pectoral bright yellow; anal fin red, mottled, darkest at the front; other fins red; tail fin sometimes with 2 obscure bars.

Reaches 7.5 cm.

Found on rock, rubble and sponge bottoms.

Depth range: 46-155 m.

Florida to Venezuela.

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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)
  • 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 endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC 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
  • 7.5
Depth Range Min
  • 46
Depth Range Max
  • 155