Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Scorpaena russula, Reddish scorpionfish, Short-spine red scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

shallow pits before & behind eyes
mottled red/brown
pectoral: black tip
soft D - rows dots
soft D: 3-4 rows brown dots
ridge under eye: 3 small spines
lower front body scales imbedded

Scorpaena russula Jordan & Bollman, 1890

Reddish Scorpionfish, Short-spine Red Scorpionfish

Body relatively slender, depth 30-33% of SL; head very bony, with numerous spines; snout relatively short, 7-11% of SL; narrow between eyes (width ~ 4% of SL); no ridges or weak ridges between eyes; between eyes flat, covered with many small cirri and usually with large tentacles on rear base of spine above rear of eye; pit behind eyes a slight depression with a front edge, with many cirri; longitudinal ridge under eye with 2-3 small spines; top preopercular spine the longest, 2nd spine very reduced; roof of mouth with teeth on sides; no slit behind last gill arch; no skin flaps on body; dorsal rays XII, 9; anal rays III, 5; pectoral rays 20-22, the lower 14 rays unbranched and thickened; scales relatively large, smooth on body; lateral line complete; with tubes on scales; 24-25 lateral line scales, 43-49 vertical rows; scales on lower front body imbedded, not well exposed.

Mottled red and brown; pectoral fins with blackish tip; 3-4 irregular rows of small spots on soft dorsal.

Reported to at least 13 cm.

Inhabits sand-rubble bottoms.

Depth: 7-160 m.

Southern Baja and the Gulf of California to northern Peru.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 7
Depth Range Max
  • 160