Painted Scorpionfish

Parascorpaena Picta
Painted Scorpionfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Parascorpaena Picta
Other names Marbled Coral Cod, Northern Scorpionfish
Size Up to 16 cm (6.29 in)
Weight Up to .3 kg (.66 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, lagoons & shallow bays amongst coral & rocky reefs in silty areas
Depth Range 2 - 40 m (130 ft)
Painted Scorpionfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Painted Scorpionfish can be found in many parts of Australia. It is distributed along the eastern and northern coastlines of the country, including Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and parts of northern New South Wales.
  • Painted Scorpionfish have a distinct appearance with a stout body and large, spiny pectoral fins. Their coloration can vary, but they commonly display a combination of red, orange, yellow, and brown hues, often adorned with intricate patterns and blotches.
  • Painted Scorpionfish are carnivorous predators that primarily feed on small crustaceans, shrimp, and small fish. They use their ambush hunting strategy to lie in wait and capture prey that ventures close to their hiding spots.
  • Like other scorpionfish species, the Painted Scorpionfish is a master of disguise. Their coloration allows them to blend seamlessly into their surroundings, making them virtually invisible to both predators and prey.
  • The Painted Scorpionfish is a solitary species that tends to be territorial. They often occupy specific areas of the reef and defend their hiding spots from intruders, including other fish.
  • Breeding habits of the Painted Scorpionfish are not extensively documented, but they are believed to be seasonal spawners. Breeding may occur during warmer months, typically from spring to summer, when water temperatures are higher.
  • Estimates of lifespan are between 5 – 7 years.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

Due to their striking appearance, Painted Scorpionfish are occasionally kept in marine aquariums. However, they require specific care and maintenance, including a well-established and matured tank with appropriate hiding spots. Finding them in the wild can be an exciting experience for divers and snorkelers. Their excellent camouflage makes them difficult to spot, adding a thrill to the search.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Scorpaenidae

Genus: Parascorpaena

Species: Parascorpaena Picta

Conservation Status

The Painted Scorpionfish is listed as a species of “Least Concern” in terms of conservation status in Australia. However, it’s important to note that local populations can be affected by habitat destruction, pollution, and overfishing.

Painted Scorpionfish
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 80 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: Venomous Spines

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!