Scorpaena jacksoniensis (Steindachner, 1866)
Abundant throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Known only from coastal waters of eastern Australia, where it is recorded from southern Queensland, through New South Wales to eastern Victoria.
Found in shallow estuaries to deep offshore reef. Benthic species camouflaged amongst rocks, corals and algae.
For many years, this species was called Scorpaena cardinalis, however a recent paper in 2011 showed that the correct name for the species is S. jacksoniensis and that S. cardinalis occurs in New Zealand waters. Extremely variable colouration and able to change quickly to suit background. They possess large spines on head which can inflict painful injury. Black spots on belly and thorax help identify this species. Grows to 40cm.