Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Phenacoscorpius nebris, Shorttube Scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no pit behind eyes
D XII, 9
LL = front 4-5 pores only
ridge under eye: 5-6 spines
preoperculum - 1st spine largest
pectoral - center rays longest, 15-17, upper rays branched
end tail base: small spots form bar
scales rough

Phenacoscorpius nebris Eschmeyer, 1965

Shorttube Scorpionfish

Head very bony, large, with strong spines; eye large; no pit on top of head behind eyes; 1st (top) preopercular spine the largest, 2nd spine absent; bone under eye with 2 down-pointing spines, 1st rounded, 2nd pointed; ridge under eye with 5-6 spines; roof of mouth with teeth on sides but not at front; dorsal XII, 8.5; anal III, 5; pectoral 15-17, upper rays branched in adult, center rays longest; scales rough; lateral line with tubes on scales; lateral line incomplete, with only 4-5 pored scales at front.

Head and body pinkish red, with many scattered small pale blotches; 2 dark saddles under spiny dorsal; a dark bar under soft dorsal; a dark bar at end of tail base formed by small distinct dark spots; a dark blotch on spiny dorsal fin between spines V-IX; tail, pectoral and soft dorsal fins with red bases, outer parts with rows of red spots.

Reaches 8.5 cm.

Lives on soft bottoms.

Depth range: 64-606 m.

The SE USA, and the Gulf of Mexico to southern 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)
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
  • 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 only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.5
Depth Range Min
  • 64
Depth Range Max
  • 606