Animal Species:Longsnout Stingerfish, Inimicus didactylus (Pallas, 1769)

The Longsnout Stingerfish has poisonous dorsal fin spines that can inflict an excruciatingly painful sting.

Standard Common Name

Longsnout Stingerfish

Alternative Name/s

Longsnout Stinger, Bearded Ghoulfish, Demon Stinger

Identification

Three species of Inimicus occur in Australian waters. These are the Longsnout Stingerfish, Demon Stingerfish and the Spotted Stonefish. They can be separated by a combination of characters that include the colouration of the inner surface of the pectoral fin of live fish.

The inner surface of the pectoral fin of the Longsnout Stinger has a dark base and a dark margin. The Demon Stingerfish has two dark bands and a pale margin on the inner surface of the pectoral fin.  The Spotted Stonefish's inner pectoral surface is dark with white blotches.

Size range

18 cm

Distribution

In Australia the species is known from marine waters of north-western Western Australia to the Northern Territory.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Inimicus didactylus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Longsnout Stingerfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species normally occurs on muddy or sandy seabeds in coastal waters.

Danger to humans and first aid

Wounds from the dorsal spines of the Longsnout Stingerfish (indeed all species of Inimicus) are extremely painful.

Classification

Species:
didactylus
Genus:
Inimicus
Family:
Synanceiidae
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific. University of Hawai'i Press. Pp. 707.
  3. Michael, S.W. 1998. Reef Fishes. Vol. 1. Microcosm. Pp.624.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Longsnout Stingerfish, Inimicus didactylus, Synanceiidae, Longsnout Stinger, Bearded Ghoulfish, Demon Stinger, stripes or bands, blotches/mottled, marine, adult, spines, brown, yellow, black, white,