Fishy Fact Part 1

 

Popeyed Scorpionfish- Look what we found!!

Excitement on 2 Mile! Imagine spotting this sweet guy Scuba Diving on 2 Mile Sodwana Bay. This elaborately camouflaged fish of about 35cm adult size has “warts” and skin flaps that resemble the covered stone and coral he hides in. This camouflage aids him to catch his prey. They are able to adapt their colours to suit their surrounding from yellow to white, red, brown and even black. Popeyed Scorpion fish are nocturnal predators, and spend the daylight hours resting in a hidden crevice in the coralScorpion fish are also able to ambush their prey from this position and often catch small fish by surprise. Scorpion fish are omnivorous fish and hunt small fish, crustaceans and snails on the coral reefsScorpion fish are able to stun their prey with their venom before eating it. Popeyed Scorpionfish also use their venomous sting to fend off unwanted predators.

This fish is a very dominant predator in its environment, and therefore the popeyed scorpion fish has very few natural predators. The human catching this fish to keep in tanks is the biggest threat to the  popeyed scorpion fish along with habitat loss from the destruction of coral reefs. Large fish and sea lions are also known to hunt scorpion fish. Found in shallow waters mostly but have been found at 30m.

Making more Popeyed Scorpion fish:

The female releases between 2,000 and 15,000 eggs into the water which are fertilised by the male. The fish pair and hide so that their eggs can float into the ocean. The eggs hatch in just 2 days and the tiny fish fry remain near the surface of the water until they are bigger. When the fry reach nearly an inch in length, they swim down into the ocean to join the reef community. What a pleasure to spot this incredible fish!