Biodiversity #25 – Scorpionfish – a fish that can’t swim?

Leaf scorpionfish at dimipac island west diving busuanga island palawan philippines banner

Scorpionfish are members of the family Scorpianidae, which includes many of the world’s most venomous species. One genus is the Lionfish, but many of the other genii are bottom-dwellers. The Red Rockcod found in Australian waters is one example, another is the Devil Scorpionfish, (Scorpaenopsis diabolus), also called the False Stonefish.

Scorpionfish red rockcod scopaena cardinalis syd

Found throughout the Indo-pacific, this fish is perfectly camouflaged to whatever substrate it lives on. An ambush predator, it simply lies on the bottom and sucks its prey straight into its mouth – whole. This fish has become so adept in this lazy lifestyle – it appears to have lost the desire to swim.

Sea bees liveaboard similan islands surin islands thailand yawning bearded scorpionfish

This video shows how well it can camouflage itself – and how quickly it can move (not!)