updated Dec 13
learn only 3 things about it ...
It is small and well camouflaged. Look carefully to find
It has venomous spines. Don't handle it!
venom is only used for protection from predators and not
to catch prey.
seen? This little waspfish is commonly seen on many of
our shores, among coral rubble or seagrasses. But it is small and
well camouflaged and thus often overlooked. Now in Family Tetrarogidae
(waspfishes), it used to be placed in Family Scorpaenidae (scorpionfishes).
Features: 5-7cm long. The dorsal
fin begins almost between its eyes and the dorsal fin membranes are
deeply incised between the spines. It has a pair of large backward
pointing spines above its mouth, which may not be obvious when the
spines are folded away. The lateral line has prominent tube-like scales.
Some may have a white band across the face, and indeed, they are called
Whiteface waspfish in some places. In captivity, they have been observed
to change from light to dark colours.
Sometimes mistaken for a stonefish
(Family Synanceiidae) or the False
scorpionfish (Centrogenys vaigiensis), a grouper, which
looks very similar. Here's more on how
to tell apart fishes that look like stones.
Human uses: These fishes are sometimes
taken for the aquarium trade..
First dorsal fin almost between the eyes.
Deeply incised membranes
between dorsal fin spines.
Chek Jawa, Jun 05
Backward facing spines next to the
mouth, and a white 'face'.
Prominent tube-like scales
along the lateral line.
Changi, Jun 05
Pulau Sekudu, Apr 06
Labrador, Dec 04
waspfishes on Singapore shores
more photos of longspined scorpionfishes
on Singapore shores
- Lim, S.,
P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life
and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of
Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology,
the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.