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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes > Family Scorpaenidae
Painted scorpionfish
Parascorpaena picta
Family Scorpaenidae
updated Oct 2019
Where seen? This rather grumpy-looking fish with bulging eyes is sometimes seen, especially on our southern shores, on coral rubble areas near reefs and/or seagrass meadows.

Features: About 10cm long, to 17cm. A huge head, particularly obvious in a fish with a slender body (didn't eat much recently?). Large bulbous eyes that protrude out of the head. Wide mouth on a large head. Dorsal fin starts well behind the eyes. There are skin flaps and tentacles on the head and body. The dorsal fin has 12 spines.

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.

Tanah Merah, Jul 11

Sisters Island, May 12

A huge head, obvious when body is slender.
Pulau Sekudu, Jun 03

Labrador, Sep 09

Bulbous eyes protruding out of the head.

Painted scorpionfishes on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Pulau Sekudu, May 18
Photo shared by Dayna Cheah on facebook.

East Coast Park, Jun 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Labrador, Jun 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr

Sentosa Serapong, Jul 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Pulau Tekukor, May 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Lazarus, Jun 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his

Pulau Senang, Jun 10|

Pulau Senang, Aug 10|

Pulau Salu, Apr 21
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
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