Raggy Scorpionfish

Scorpaenopsis Venosa
Raggy Scorpionfish - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Scorpaenopsis Venosa
Other names Yellow Nose Scorpionfish
Size Up to 25 cm (9.84 in)
Weight Up to 1 kg (2.2 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, lagoons, bays & harbours rich in algae, seagrass & sponge amongst reef
Depth Range 5 - 40 m (131 ft)
Raggy Scorpionfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Raggy Scorpionfish is found in various coastal areas of northern Australia. They can be encountered in parts of the top end of Western Australia, up into the Torres Strait and throughout the Queensland coastline.
  • The Raggy Scorpionfish has a unique and striking appearance. It features a stocky body covered in rough, bumpy skin with numerous ragged flaps and appendages that resemble seaweed or algae. Its coloration can vary, ranging from pale yellow or greenish-brown to reddish-brown, allowing it to blend in with its surroundings.
  • They employ a remarkable camouflage strategy. Its appearance allows it to mimic the surrounding environment, such as rocks, algae, and coral. This camouflage helps them ambush prey and avoid detection by predators.
  • Raggy Scorpionfish are carnivorous predators. They feed primarily on small fish and crustaceans. Using their stealth and ambush tactics, they wait patiently for prey to come within striking distance, then engulf them with a sudden burst of speed.
  • Like other scorpionfish they possess venomous spines on its dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins. These spines contain a potent toxin that can cause painful stings to predators or humans who accidentally come into contact with them. Caution should be exercised to avoid any potential injuries.
  • During the breeding season, which typically occurs in the warmer months from spring to early summer, male Raggy Scorpionfishes display courtship behaviors to attract females. The females release their eggs into the water, which are then fertilised externally by the males.
  • Estimates of lifespan are between 5 – 7 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

The Raggy Scorpionfish is not typically targeted for recreational fishing due to its venomous spines and lack of flesh from its smaller size. In the wild they can be an exciting experience for divers and snorkelers. They are well-camouflaged and often remain motionless on the reef, relying on their appearance to blend in with their surroundings. Exercise caution and maintain a safe distance, as they possess venomous spines that can cause painful stings if disturbed or handled.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Scorpaenidae

Genus: Scorpaenopsis

Species: Scorpaenopsis Oxycephala

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Raggy Scorpionfish in Australia is not specifically listed, as it is not considered a separate species in terms of conservation assessments. However, it is important to note that coral reefs, which are their preferred habitat, face various threats such as climate change, pollution, and overfishing.

How to catch
Raggy Scorpionfish

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Worms

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Not targeted - Bycatch

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Caves, Lagoon, Seagrass Beds

Danger: Venomous Spines

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