European scorpionfish, small-scaled scorpionfish.
It is a small fish, with a large flattened face, large lips and bulging eyes above which grow spiky tentacles. The head is covered with tubercles and pieces of skin, in the mouth are powerful jaws with small sharp teeth, on the gill covers a few spines-narostov. Dorsal fin long, with a few dozen rays, some of which are hard and barbed, the others soft, in the anal 3 and 5 respectively. Pectoral soft, large, with 16-18 veins and three vertical stripes on the tail. The scales of the fish are of medium size, with a mottled camouflage colouration in which brown, dark and light tones predominate. There are also tubercles and flaps of skin along the body which help the fish to blend in with the environment. Swim bladder is absent. It has interesting characteristics - it moults regularly, shedding its skin in a snake-like manner, sometimes up to twice a month. Its barbs and the bony spines on its gill covers contain venom.
Occurs in the eastern Atlantic, from the British Isles to the Azores, in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, sometimes in the Sea of Azov.
It remains in the coastal zone and spends most of its time lying in thickets of vegetation on rocky bottoms waiting for prey.
Maximum body length is 40.5 cm, usually about 15 cm. Maximum recorded body weight is 870 grams.
Life history and Behavior
Spawns in summer when the water is at its warmest (July-September).
Food and feeding habits
Predator. Eats small fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates.
The eggs swim in portions, encased in a slimy mass that floats to the upper layers of the sea. When the larvae emerge, they remain near the surface for some time, but soon sink to the bottom and acquire the bottom habits of adults. A female can lay up to 350,000 eggs per season.
|Life span, years
|Maximum body weight, kg
|Maximum length, cm
|Sailing speed, m/s
|Threat to people
|Way of eating
Tags: black scorpionfish