Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Pontinus clemensi, Mottled scorpionfish, Spotted scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

large eye
red + yellow blotches + dense small dark spots
D spines II & III v long

Pontinus clemensi Fitch, 1955

Mottled scorpionfish, Spotted scorpionfish

Head very bony, with numerous spines, large, deep; nape flat; without pit behind eyes; eye large (22-30% of head length); uppermost preopercular spine longest; teeth on roof of mouth at sides but not at front; slit present behind last gill arch; 13 gill rakers; dorsal XII, 2nd  and 3rd  dorsal spines equally long, much longer than other spines 9; anal III, 5; pectoral with longest rays in center, 19 rays, all unbranched; scales rough, present on cheek, behind eye and on chest; lateral line complete, 27-31 scales with tubes.

Head, body and fins pink; yellow-orange coloring: along top jaw, a stripe from eye to tip of top jaw, a blotch on lower cheek, a blotch behind eye, a blotch on back above pectoral; 2 red blotches on upper back, another on upper tail base; small, dense, irregular blackish spots on upper 2/3 of head and body, and all fins; spinous dorsal pink, with white base and outer band of yellow, spine tips white; a few small yellow spots on base of pectoral.

Size: 56 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms.

Depth: 50-250 m.

Colombia to northern Peru, Cocos, Malpelo and the Galapagos.


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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 56
Depth Range Min
  • 50
Depth Range Max
  • 250