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Species: Scorpaena inermis, Mushroom Scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no pit behind eyes
mushroom flaps atop eye
ridge under eye: 3 spines
length before D 40-47% SL
bone above front mouth - 2 spines
scales smooth

Scorpaena inermis Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1829

Mushroom Scorpionfish

Head very bony, with numerous spines; head long (length before dorsal fin 40-47% of SL); adults with almost no pit on top of head behind eyes; narrow between eyes; eye moderate, with small mushroom-shaped cirri on its upper 1/4; 1st (top most) preopercular spine the largest, short, with a small accessory spine; bone over front of mouth with 2 spines pointing down; bone ridge under eye with 3 spines; roof of mouth with teeth on sides but not at center; no slit behind last gill arch; dorsal fin XII, 7.5 (7.5-8.5); anal III,5; pectoral 19-21, with some upper rays branched in adult, fin reaching first anal spine; scales relatively large, smooth; lateral line complete.

Mottled red; tail fin with 2 indistinct bars (at middle and end); no color marks on inside of pectoral base; often a brown spot behind head under lateral line; outer edge of pectoral, soft dorsal and anal fins dark.

Reaches 11 cm.

Rocky bottoms with sand and rubble; also in seagrass beds and coral bottoms

Depth range: 1-73 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)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Corals
  • 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 non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 11
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 73