Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Scorpaena guttata, Californian scorpionfish, Spotted scorpionfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

deep depressions before & after eyes
red brown
body & fins dense dark spots
scales smooth, small, >70 rows
ridge under eye - usually no spines

Scorpaena guttata Girard, 1854

California Scorpionfish, Spotted Scorpionfish

Head large, depressed, spiny; nape concave; deep depressions before & behind eyes; ridge below eye normally without spines, but sometimes with 2-3 spines; teeth on sides and front of roof of mouth; no skin flaps on head or body; 15-19 gill rakers; dorsal XII, 9; pectoral 17-19 rays, upper rays branched, lower rays thickended, unbranched; anal III, 5; scales smooth, 24-26 on lateral line, 73-86 vertical rows on body.

Body, head and fins red-brown; body densely covered with dark brown and black spots; fins with large dark spots, those on dorsal fin in 2-3 rows.

Size: 47 cm.

Habitat: rocky, sandy and rubble bottoms.

Depth: 1-183 m.

California to lower Baja, with an isolated population in the northern Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Rocks
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • TEP non-endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • California province, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 47
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 183