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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes
False scorpionfish
Centrogenys vaigiensis

Family Centrogenyidae
updated Dec 13

if you learn only 3 things about it ...
It is small and well camouflaged. Look carefully to find one.
This harmless fish is easily mistaken for a scorpionfish.
It hides among seaweeds and under stones. Watch your step!

Where seen? This small scorpionfish wannabe is commonly encountered on some of our shores, among coral rubble and seagrass areas.

What are false scorpionfishes? This species was previously placed in Family Serranidae (groupers) and now is the only member of the Family Centrogenyidae (false scorpionfishes). True scorpionfishes belong to the Family Scorpaenidae.

To about 15cm, but those seen usually about 4-10cm. Like scorpionfishes, the false scorpionfish has prickly dorsal spines that can poke inquisitive fingers. But false scorpionfishes lack true venom glands and simply cause wounds. Unlike scorpionfishes, the false scorpionfish does not have spines on its head. The nostrils have large fringed flaps, and the dorsal fin starts well behind the eyes. But in other respects, they are similar in habit and appearance.

Sometimes mistaken for stonefishes and scorpionfishes. Here's more on how to tell apart fishes that look like stones.

What does it eat? It eats small fishes, shrimps and crabs, hunting during the day.

Human uses: Sometimes harvested for the aquarium trade.

Changi, Jun 06

Dorsal fins start well behind the eyes.

It has nose flaps! No spines on the head

Sentosa, Oct 03

Chek Jawa, Jun 03

Sisters Island, Sep 10

Terumbu Bemban, Apr 11

false scorpion fish @tBembanBesar 22Apr2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

False scorpionfishes on Singapore shores

Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr
Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

more photos of false scorpionfishes on Singapore shores


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