SCORPAENIDAE
scorpionfishes

  Pterois miles
(Bennett, 1803)

Relevant synonyms
None

Misidentification
Pterois volitans

Meristic formula
D, XII + I+9-11 ; A, III+6-7; P, 13-15; V, I+5; GR, 14-16.

 photo : David Darom    

SHORT DESCRIPTION
Body moderately compressed. Dorsal spines very long, longer than body depth, their membranes incised almost to the base. Dorsal rays much shorter with complete membrane. Anal and caudal fins rounded. Pectoral rays very long reaching at least the midpoint of anal fin base, their membrane deeply incised, especially in the upper rays. Pelvic fin long. Head with feeble spination and fleshy flaps and cirri, the most prominent being the pair above the eyes, often finally banded or spotted. Large mouth with villiform teeth. Small cycloid scales.

color : body with alternating wide black and narrow white and red bands. Dorsal spines, pectoral and ventral fins are alternately banded with black, red and pink. Dorsal soft rays, anal and caudal fins with series of dark spots along the rays on a light pink background.

size : common 15-35 cm (max. 50 cm).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS
Unique, does not resemble any indigenous species of the Mediterranean.

BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Crepuscular piscivorous species, active mainly at sunset and sunrise. Hunts solitarily or in small groups either by "sit and wait" or by using pectoral fins to force small fishes to rocks. The dorsal spines are highly venomous. When provoked by a diver, it often threatens the intruder by directing its spines and even by overt movements.

habitat : coral reef (in the original habitat) and rocky shores to depth of 50 m.


1st MEDITERRANEAN RECORD
Israel, 1992.


DISTRIBUTION
Worldwide : Red Sea and the eastern Indian Ocean. Mediterranean : only a single specimen collected in Israel - trawl at 35 m (Golani and Sonin, 1992). More recently recorded in Lebanon and Cyprus.

ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS
Very rare.

speculated reasons for success :
-


MODE OF INTRODUCTION
Probably via the Suez Canal but also possible escapee from aquarium.


IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
Popular as aquarium fish.


KEY REFERENCES

  • Golani D. and Sonin O., 1992. New records of the Red Sea fishes, Pterois miles (Scorpaenidae) and Pteragogus pelycus (Labridae) from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 39(2): 167-169.

FEEDBACK / COMMENTS TO AUTHORS



Last update of the species sheet:
November 2013

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