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Species: Scorpaena sonorae, Sonora scorpionfish

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between eyes flat
red/brown mottled
soft D: large dark blotch
ridge under eye: 0-2 small spines
lower front body scales imbedded

Scorpaena sonorae Jenkins & Evermann, 1889

Sonora 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 5-6% of SL); cirrus over eye of juvenile;  pit behind eyes flat, without a defined front edge; longitudinal ridge under eye with 2 (0-2) small spines; top preopercular spine the longest, 2nd  spine very small; roof of mouth with teeth on sides; no slit behind last gill arch; no skin flaps on body ; dorsal rays XII (XII-XIII), 8-9; anal rays III, 5; pectoral rays 19-21, 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 row; scales on lower front body imbedded, not well exposed.

Mottled red and brown with irregular dark bars on sides, ventral parts whitish; a large rounded dark blotch on the soft dorsal fin.

Size: to about 18 cm.

Inhabits sand-rubble bottoms.

Depth: 1-91 m.

Southern Baja and the Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
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
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Cortez + Mexican provinces endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 18
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 91