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Overview

Brief Summary

The Indo-Pacific scorpionfish genus Scorpaenopsis includes around two dozen recognized species (24 recognized by Randall and Eschmeyer 2001 and several additional species described more recently). Scorpaenopsis obtusa (Shortsnout Scorpionfish) was formally recognized as a distinct species only in 2001 based on three specimens, two from the Philippines and one from Papua New Guinea. Four additional specimens have been subsequently identified that were collected in Japan and Western Australia, as well as Papua New Guinea. Collection data indicate capture depths ranging from 0 to 50 m. Scorpaenopsis obtusa is presumed to be a demersal fish, i.e., living on or near the seabottom. This is the smallest “humpback” species in the genus. Known specimens have ranged in size from 36.5 to 79 mm standard length (i.e., excluding the tail) (Motomura and Shinohara 2005). Motomura and Shinohara discuss technical characters for discriminating this species from related species, notably the very similar S. gibbosa. These authors note that S. obtusa is currently known from the eastern Indian and western Pacific Ocean, whereas S. gibbosa is distributed in the western Indian Ocean, suggesting that a vicariance event may be related to speciation within Scorpaenopsis.

  • Motomura, H. and G. Shinohara. 2005. Assessment of taxonomic characters of Scorpaenopsis obtusa and S. gibbosa (Scorpaenidae), with first records of S. obtusa from Japan and Australia and comments on the synonymy of S. gibbosa. Cybium 29(3): 295-301.
  • Randall, J.E., and W. N. Eschmeyer. 2001. Revision of the Indo-Pacific Scorpionfish genus Scorpaenopsis, with Descriptions of Eight New Species. 79 pp., 60 col. figs. Dec 2001. Ichthyology Collection of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits coral reef. Benthic (Ref. 75154). Collected in less than 15 m depth (Ref 90102).
  • Randall, J.E and W.N. Eschmeyer 2001 Revision of the Indo-Pacific scorpionfish genus Scopaenopsis, with descriptions of eight new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (34):79 p. (Ref. 42181)
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Distribution

Western Central Pacific: Philippines south to Australia.
  • Randall, J.E and W.N. Eschmeyer 2001 Revision of the Indo-Pacific scorpionfish genus Scopaenopsis, with descriptions of eight new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (34):79 p. (Ref. 42181)
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Japan, Philippines, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 5; Vertebrae: 24
  • Randall, J.E and W.N. Eschmeyer 2001 Revision of the Indo-Pacific scorpionfish genus Scopaenopsis, with descriptions of eight new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (34):79 p. (Ref. 42181)
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Size

Max. size

10.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 90102))
  • Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann 2012 Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research. (Ref. 90102)
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Diagnostic Description

Snout very short, about equal to orbit diameter. Ascending process of premaxilla extending into interorbital space. Body depth of adults 2.0-2.2 in SL. Longitudinal scale series 37-39 (Ref 42181).Description: Characterized by variable coloration, usually matching surrounding substrate; double upper opercular spine; highly arched nape and anterior body, humpback appearance; broad interorbital 4.1-4.2 in head length; deep occipital pit (Ref 90102).
  • Randall, J.E and W.N. Eschmeyer 2001 Revision of the Indo-Pacific scorpionfish genus Scopaenopsis, with descriptions of eight new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (34):79 p. (Ref. 42181)
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

demersal; marine; depth range 0 - 15 m (Ref. 90102)
  • Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann 2012 Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research. (Ref. 90102)
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 17 - 17
  Temperature range (°C): 28.212 - 28.212
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.834 - 0.834
  Salinity (PPS): 33.797 - 33.797
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.443 - 4.443
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.079 - 0.079
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.370 - 1.370
 
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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