Reef Scorpionfish GALLERYScorpaenodes caribbaeus
Easily recognized mottled fore-body with spotted pectoral, rear dorsal anal and tail fins. (If visible) Uncommonly seen because they hide in caves on the ceilings and under ledge overhangs. This is the only one I've ever seen. Their red-brown mottled body color camouflages them extremely well. They have a very unusual star design iris around the eye pupil. They are much smaller than their cousins the Spotted Scorpionfish. The Spotted Scorpionfish can grow up to fourteen inches whereas the Reef Scorpionfish only grows to less than a third that size; two to four inches. This specimen was sitting just inside a hole and of all times, I forgot to open my flash. By the time I figured out why the flash wasn't going off, he scooted deeper inside the reef.