||Name: Sailfinned Scorpionfish; Sailback Scorpionfish;
|Scientific name: Tetraroge barbata
|Range: Pacific Ocean,Tropical waters
|Habitat: Sea floor in shallow
waters near reefs and rock ledges.
|Status: Not threatened
|Diet in the wild: Sedentary Fish
|Diet in the zoo: Sedentary Fish
|Location in the zoo: James
R Record Aquarium
currently on exhibit)
courtesy of Phil Slosberg
Body length: 10 to 20 inches long
Weight: 1 to 5 lbs
Large head, mouth and jaws, tapering
to a small tail
Color: red, orange, yellow,
Dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins have
sharp spines with venom; venom glands lie alongside the spines.
Irregular surface and patchy colors
hide the fish's body contours and make it look like a patch of weed-covered
They crawl along the bottom of the
ocean, using their pectoral fins. Because of their relative inactivity
and effective camouflage, some are also called "stone fish."
Although the Sailfinned Scorpion
Fish is small it is still very deadly to other fish. The Scorpion
Fish carries venom in its dorsal fin which is what it uses against predators.
This venom will kill most small fish and hurt most regular size fish (the
venom if stepped on will not kill humans, but will hurt us pretty badly!).
The venom is used primarily for defense, not for hunting. Most Scorpionfish
are opportunistic predators, lying on the sea floor disguised as a rock.
Its color makes it look almost identical to the ocean floor or to reefs
where it is lying. There are seventeen species of Scorpion Fish and
all of them are able to adapt themselves to living on the ocean floors.
The Sailback Scorpionfish or Waspfish is a livebearer and may produce hundreds
of young fry in a single brood.
or behavioral adaptations:
Scorpion fish have several adaptations
that suit a great adaptor to the ocean. The scorpion fish lives
most on reefs and rocks. It adapts itself to look like rocks as a
protection device against predators. Its stays mostly on the bottom
of the ocean so that it won't use its energy swimming around. Scorpion
fish use venom in its dorsal fin to protect itself from predators.
It also uses its large mouth which has teeth to catch its prey and also
(Photo courtesy of Steve
Comments about the Scorpion
Fish of the Fort Worth Zoo:
The Sailfinned Scorpionfish is
currently off exhibit.
Fish is off exhibit and could
not be observed.
at the Fort Worth Zoo