Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Scorpaenodes xyris, Rainbow scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no pit behind eye
operculum - dark blotch
pectoral: lower rays unbranched
body scales rough

Scorpaenodes xyris (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Rainbow scorpionfish

No pit on top of head behind eyes; longitudinal ridge under eye with 2-3 spines, sometimes another row of spines below those; a small slit present or absent behind last gill arch; teeth on center of roof of mouth but not on sides;  dorsal fin XIII, 10 rays; anal III, 5; last dorsal and anal rays branched; pectoral 18 rays, some rays branched, the lower 10 unbranched and thickened, longest rays in center; scales rough, head usually scaly; skin flaps absent on scales of body; small spiny rays at top and bottom of base of tail fin.

Blotchy or mottled brown to red, often with 3-5 irregular dark bars on side; a white bar below eye extending across upper jaw; a prominent blackish spot on lower part of gill cover.

Size: reaches 15 cm.

Inhabits reef crevices.

Depth: 1-50 m.

Southern California through the Gulf of California to Peru and all the oceanic islands.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Corals
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 50