Family: SCORPAENIDAE, Scorpionfishes
Small to medium sized fishes (to ~ 50 cm); body usually weakly compressed; head relatively large (37-50% of SL) and spiny; a spiny, longitudinal ridge under eye; eye variable in size; snout variable in length; numerous small conical teeth on jaws; teeth present or absent on roof of mouth; preopercular margin with 3-5 spines; 2 (1-2) spines on opercle; a single dorsal fin, usually strongly notched at the rear of the spiny part, VIII-XVIII strong, venomous spines, 4-14 soft rays; anal fin II-IV, 5-14; pelvics I, 5, under pectorals; pectorals large, 11-24; tail fin round to straight; lateral line with 12-54 pored or tubed scales; scales small, smooth or rough, sometimes absent or tiny and imbedded.
Scorpionfishes are found in all temperate and tropical seas and are commercially important in some areas. Most of the estimated nearly 430 species and 67 genera occur in the Indo-Pacific; there are 20 species in 4 genera in the Greater Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER POSS (2002)