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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in rich soft-bottom habitats in current prone channels (Ref. 48635); also in rocky or coralline habitats near algae where it camouflages itself. Hunts prey at night like other species of scorpaenids, feeding on fish and small invertebrates. Solitary among corals, rocks and weeds (Ref 90102).
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Distribution

Indo-West Pacific: South Africa (off Durban) east to southern Japan, the Caroline Islands, and eastern Australia.
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Indo-West Pacific: East Africa, Madagascar and western Mascarenes east to Caroline Islands, north to southern Japan.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 5
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Size

Maximum size: 230 mm TL
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Max. size

23.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4313))
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Diagnostic Description

Highly variable in color and in appendages in relation to habitat. Covered with appendages on algae reefs, but plain when deep with sponges (Ref. 48635). Body highly compressed and covered with weed-like tassels (Ref. 37816).Description: Characterized by having strongly oblique and upturned mouth; concave snout; dorsal spines relatively soft and easily bendable with slight pressure; depth of body 2.1-2.4 in SL (Ref. 90102).
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Description

Found in rocky or coralline habitats near algae where it camouflages itself, at depths from 13 to 90 m. Hunts prey at night like other species of scorpaenids, feeding on fish and small invertebrates. Venomous spines.
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Highly variable in color and in appendages in relation to habitat. Covered with appendages on algae reefs, but plain when deep with sponges (Ref. 48635). Body highly compressed and covered with weed-like tassels (Ref. 37816).Description: Characterized by having strongly oblique and upturned mouth; concave snout; dorsal spines relatively soft and easily bendable with slight pressure; depth of body 2.1-2.4 in SL (Ref 90102).
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 3 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 25 - 100
  Temperature range (°C): 23.197 - 26.270
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.152 - 2.844
  Salinity (PPS): 35.222 - 35.267
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.172 - 4.763
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.155 - 0.486
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.374 - 4.733

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 25 - 100

Temperature range (°C): 23.197 - 26.270

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.152 - 2.844

Salinity (PPS): 35.222 - 35.267

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.172 - 4.763

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.155 - 0.486

Silicate (umol/l): 3.374 - 4.733
 
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 10 - 297 m (Ref. 90102)
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Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 3 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 25 - 100
  Temperature range (°C): 23.197 - 26.270
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.152 - 2.844
  Salinity (PPS): 35.222 - 35.267
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.172 - 4.763
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.155 - 0.486
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.374 - 4.733

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 25 - 100

Temperature range (°C): 23.197 - 26.270

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.152 - 2.844

Salinity (PPS): 35.222 - 35.267

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.172 - 4.763

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.155 - 0.486

Silicate (umol/l): 3.374 - 4.733
 
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Depth: 13 - 90m.
From 13 to 90 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Trophic Strategy

Rare species. Found in rocky or coralline habitats near algae where it camouflages itself. Hunts prey at night like other species of scorpaenids, feeding on fish and small invertebrates.
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Weedy scorpionfish

The weedy scorpionfish, commonly called popeyed scorpionfish, Rhinopias frondosa, is a benthic marine fish which belongs to the family Scorpaenidae or also known as the Scorpionfishes family.

Description[edit]

The weedy scorpionfish has a highly compressed body, can reach a maximum length of 23 cm, and can vary considerably in color as well as appendages depending on its environment. Specimens found in rocky, algae rich waters are covered in weed-like appendages, whereas specimens found in deeper soft-bottomed waters with soft corals and sponges have fewer appendages.[1] Color can range vastly from dark red and purple to yellow and lavender. The variations differ so vastly that the specimens are often misidentified as between this species and two related species, Rhinopias aphanes and Rhinopias eschmeyeri. Indeed, some have argued Rhinopias eschmeyeri is a morphological variant of Rhinopias frondosa rather than a separate species. However, a 2006 study by Motomura and Johnson[2] confirmed R. eschmeyeri's existence and distinguished it from other members of the genus Rhinopias.

Distribution[edit]

Weedy Taiwan.jpg

The Weedy scorpionfish lives in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Australia and from South Africa to the Caroline Islands. They are found in depths ranging from 13 to 90 meters.[1]


Feeding and behaviour[edit]

Like most Scorpaenidae, weedy scorpionfish are mostly nocturnal ambush hunters, using their camouflage to prey on unsuspecting fish and invertebrates. They rarely swim, but rather move along the bottom propelling themselves with their fins.[3]

In aquarium[edit]

The weedy scorpionfish has no commercial value for fisheries, but commands a high price in the aquarium trade. Although they can be found in the U.S. and Europe, they are mostly exported to Japan where they fetch a very high price. Rhinopias are highly sought after by aquarists who collect rare and unusual species.

For comparison, a specimen of the related species Rhinopias eschmeyeri.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2008). "Rhinopias frondosa" in FishBase. January 2008 version.
  2. ^ Motomura, Hitoyuki and Johnson, Jeffrey W., Validity of the Poorly Known Scorpionfish, Rhinopias eschmeyeri, with Redescriptions of R. frondosa and R aphanes, Copeia, V. 2006, No. 3 (September 15, 2006), pp. 500-515.
  3. ^ Aquarium Fish
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