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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes
Family Synanceiidae

updated Oct 2020
Where seen? These gruesome looking fishes can sting painfully.

What are stonefishes?
Stonefishes belong to Family Synanceiidae. According to FishBase: the family has 9 genera and 31 species. They are found in the Indo-Pacific oceans. They are sometimes classified as members of the Family Scorpaenidae.

Features: Stonefishes do look like stones!

The Hollow-cheek stonefish (Synanceia horrida) is commonly encountered on the the intertidal.

The Reef stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa) has yet to be encountered during our intertidal surveys. It has a deep depression between the eyes and doesn't have hollow 'cheeks'. It is considered the most widespread stonefish found on sandy or coral rubble areas of reef flats, in shallow lagoons and tide pools during low tide.

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

Some Stonefishes on Singapore shores

Stargazer waspfish
Trachicephalus uranoscopus
Changi, Jun 12
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Family Synanceiidae recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
**from WORMS

  Family Synanceiidae
  Inimicus brachyrhynchus
Inimicus cuvieri
Inimicus didactylus

Minous monodactylus

Synanceia horrida
(Hollow-cheeked stonefish)
Synanceia verrucosa
(Reef stonefish)

  **previously Family Scorpaenidae (scorpionfishes)

Chloridactylus multibarbis=**Choridactylus multibarbus

Polycaulus uranoscopus=**Trachicephalus uranoscopus (Stargazer waspfish)



  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
  • Kuiter, Rudie H. 2002. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia: A Comprehensive Reference for Divers & Fishermen New Holland Publishers. 434pp.
  • Lieske, Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral Reef Fishes of the World Periplus Editions. 400pp.
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