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Species: Scorpaena elachys, Dwarf Scorpionfish

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snout v short
shallow pit behind eyes
body deep
pectoral 16-17, inner face yellow
inside gill chamber black
A 2nd spine < / = 3rd
scales smooth

Scorpaena elachys Eschmeyer, 1965

Dwarf Scorpionfish

Body deep (depth 38-41% of SL); head very bony, with numerous spines; adults with a shallow pit on top of head behind eyes; snout very short (<eye); eye moderate; 1st (top most) preopercular spine the largest, short, with a small accessory spine; bone over front of mouth with 2 spines pointing down and another at rear on its side; bone ridge under eye smooth, except for a spine at the rear end; roof of mouth with teeth on sides but not at center; no slit behind last gill arch; dorsal fin XII, 9.5 (8.5-9.5); anal III,5, 2nd spine </= 3rd; pectoral 16-17, with some upper rays branched in adult, fin reaching first anal spine; lateral line complete.

Red; a network of dark and pale lines under dorsal fin; dusky under and between eyes; inside gill chamber black, visible from outside; pectoral with yellow on inner face, dusky on side; front ½ of anal fin red, middle speckled, dark red behind.

Reaches 6.4 cm.

Found on rocky and shell bottoms.

Depth range: 37-100 m.

The Gulf of Mexico to Venezuela.

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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
  • 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
  • Insular primarily
  • 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
  • 6.4
Depth Range Min
  • 37
Depth Range Max
  • 100