Animal Species:Weedy Scorpionfish, Rhinopias aphanes Eschmeyer, 1973

The Weedy Scorpionfish is easily overlooked by divers even though it sits on the coral, often in full view. The species varies in colour from yellow to brown, green or black and is covered by a camouflaging maze-like pattern.

Standard Common Name

Weedy Scorpionfish

Alternative Name/s

Lacy Scorpionfish, Merlet's Scorpionfish

Identification

The species has a distinctive head shape, an upturned mouth, tentacles on the snout, and skin flaps on the body. The species varies in colour from yellow to brown, green or black and is covered by a maze-like pattern. Surprisingly, the Weedy Scorpionfish is easily overlooked by divers even though it sits on the coral, often in full view.

Size range

The species grows to a maximum length of 25 cm.

Distribution

The Weedy Scorpionfish is recorded from north-eastern Australia as well as other areas of the Pacific and Japan.

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

Rhinopias aphanes

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Weedy Scorpionfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is found in coral reefs between depths of 6 m to 25 m.

Classification

Species:
aphanes
Genus:
Rhinopias
Family:
Scorpaenidae
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 507.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Weedy Scorpionfish, Rhinopias aphanes, Scorpaenidae, Lacy Scorpionfish, Merlet's Scorpionfish, camouflaging maze-like pattern, camouflage, odd shaped, yellow, brown, green, black, maze-like pattern, 10 cm - 30 cm, marine, coral reef,