Photo by Adriaan Johnson

Photo by Sharon Albert/Georgina Jones

Photo by Jeff Corbett

Photo by Peter Southwood

Photo by Georgina Jones
Bigscale scorpionfish Scorpaena scrofa Bigscale scorpionfish are true members of the scorpionfish family, Scorpaenidae, to which lionfish and the highly venomous stonefish belong. It too has venom in its dorsal fin spines, so do not handle it!
The distribution in the literature is given as eastern North Atlantic (Europe) and Mediterranean, and Algoa Bay to Natal. It has been trawled in depths of around 100 m south of Cape Town, but is now being seen in False Bay. Up to now it has been seen at Birthday reef, Batsata, Pie Rock, Partridge Point, Smitswinkel bay wrecks (Good Hope, Rockeater, Oratava), Whittle Rock, Castle Rock pinnacles, in depths of 15 to 35 m, as well as an unusual sighting at Long Beach in shallow water. The size of the fish ranged from 10 cm to at least 20 cm.

It was previously thought this species was the tasseled scorpionfish, Scorpaenopsis oxycephala.

SURG is trying to establish:
  • How common the fish is.
  • Its distribution within False Bay, and probably the Atlantic side as well.

Please send your observations, preferably with a photo, to the editor at SURG.
SURG References:
News, 31 July 2005: Tasseled scorpionfish Scorpaenopsis oxycephala.
Wanted Index Next