Scorpaenopsis diabolus: False Stonefish
The Scorpaenopsis diabolus is a bottom-dwelling (depths of 75m), camouflaged fish which is carnivorous and ray-finned with venomous spines. The enjoy the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean, with a range from South Africa, the Red Sea, Japan, Hawaii and Australia.
The False Stonefish, has a humped back with an attenuate body, reaching a length of about 25cm. It has 12 spines and 10 soft rays on its dorsal fin, and 3 spines and 6 soft rays on its anal fin. The skin is rough, biofluorescence with spines and tassels, with a white-grey colour and red blotches. Because of their camouflage and that they are sometimes partially covered with sediment you can easily mistaken them for a rock.
It is a predator which ambushes its pray, using its venomous dorsal spines to inflict a painful death.
You can find them on seaweed covered rocks, rocks sheathed with corralling algae, in lagoons and in reefs.
All photos were taken with a Samsung S7.