Species Index

Scorpaenopsis diabolus
(Cuvier, 1829)

Common Name: False Stonefish

Distribution: Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and Polynesia, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia. In Australia recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia, across the tropical north, south through Queensland to northern New South Wales, and including Lord Howe Island.

Ecological Notes: Frequents rubble or weedy, coralline rock bottoms of reef flats and lagoon and seaward reefs, often partly buried or extremely well camouflaged. Depth 1 – 70 m.

Additional Notes: Colouration variable depending upon the background. Often with brown/red oblique band behind pectoral fin and shoulder hump, also similar coloured band at caudal peduncle. When alarmed this fish moves its pectoral fins forward displaying bright orange inner colour. Usually solitary or in pairs, feeds on fishes, which it swallows whole. Grows to 30 cm.

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.78.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 08/07/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 08/07/18.