Taenianotus triacanthus (Lacepede, 1802)

Common Name: 
Leaf Scorpionfish

Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from East Africa to the Galapagos Islands, north to Ryuku and Hawaiian Islands, south to Australia and the Tuamoto Islands. In Australia recorded from the Coral Sea and northern Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to central New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents reef flats, outer reef slopes and current swept channels, rarely on lagoon reefs. Solitary and usually immobile among algae or seagrass. Depth 5 - 135 m, usually 5 - 20 m.

Additional Notes: 

Body extremely compressed with the soft dorsal fin connected to the caudal fin. Colouration variable, from yellow to red to black, and variously mottled, usually with lines radiating from the eye. A superb camouflage hunter, feeding on small fish and benthic invertebrates. Often moves side to side with the current, emulating algae and other flexible benthic organisms, hence its common name. Grows to 10 cm.


R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.80.

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Taenianotus+triacanthus. Accessed 08/07/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/taenianotus-triacanthus.html. Accessed 08/07/18.