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Humpbacked Scorpionfishes -
|The humpbacked scorpionfishes are regularly encountered by divers in the Indo-Pacific. Learn more about these common, venomous critters! Photo by Fred Bavendam|
The family Scorpaenidae is a large group that contains an estimated 350 species and 70 genera. Family members have large heads, mouths and eyes, a bony ridge running from the eye across the cheek (the supraorbital stay), spines on the gill cover and head and stout fin spines (the latter are venomous in most species). The spines responsible for delivering the venom are associated with the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins. In some species, there is glandular tissue on each side of the spine that produces the venom. In others there is a gland that secretes the venom into a duct running through the spine.
In this Coral Realm article/photo gallery we will take a closer look at one group in this family known as the humpbacked scorpionfishes. This is a subset of species that belong to the genus Scorpaenopsis. These species have a hump on the back, which is more pronounced in some, less so in others. They also have brightly-colored, inner pectoral fin surfaces. They are frequently encountered by divers and are often photographed because of their grumpy appearance and sometimes interesting color patterns. The article, which is illustrated with eight enlargable photos and illustrations, also includes a photo gallery of 16 photos showing the color variants of the humpbacked scorpionfish species. So what are you waiting for...dive in!