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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes > Family Scorpaenidae
Longspined waspfish
Paracentropogon longispinis
Family Tetrarogidae
updated Dec 13

if you learn only 3 things about it ...
It is small and well camouflaged. Look carefully to find one.
It has venomous spines. Don't handle it!
Its venom is only used for protection from predators and not to catch prey.

Where 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..

Pulau Sekudu, Apr 06


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

Longspined waspfishes on Singapore shores

Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr

more photos of longspined scorpionfishes on Singapore shores

Links
References
  • 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.
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