Rhinopias Frondosa: Weedy Scorpionfish
This unusual looking fish is rare and quite difficult to spot because its well camouflaged between the corals with its frilly appendages which looks like seaweed and it hardly moves (can remain in the same spot for weeks or even months at a time). It originates from the East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Central/West Pacific and comes in different colours (blue, brown, lavender, green, pink, shades of red and yellow) and patterns. We were lucky to spot him as he was hopping around from one coral to another in the aquarium.
You will mostly find them in the warm waters along coral reefs (6-25m depth). They have compressed bodies with quite a few skin flaps, a large head with eyes are set high, their mouths are upturned, and their snouts are covered with tentacles. They can reach a maximum length of 25cm, live for about 20 years, are poor swimmers and basically hop or crawl on their pelvic fins to get around.
The Weedy Scorpionfish is mainly nocturnal and feeds on ghost shrimps, mollies, guppies, small octopus and other small animals. This fish is highly venomous as the dorsal fin contains deadly toxins for both prey and divers.