Scorpaenopsis oxycephala (Bleeker, 1849)
Smallscale scorpionfish

or

Scorpaenopsis papuensis (Cuvier, 1829)
Papuan scorpionfish

These relatively common scorpionfish also can be well camouflaged as algae-covered rocks, but are often more noticable due to their frequent red to purple coloration. They range up to at least 150mm at Kwajalein and are found on both lagoon and seaward reefs. The two species S. oxycephala and S. papuensis are very similar in appearance, and as noted by Myers in Micronesian Reef Fishes, are very difficult to distinguish without a specimen in hand so you can count the number of longitudinal scale rows. At this time we cannot say which one we have, and it is possible we have both. Although the fish photographed on this page are common at Kwajalein, neither of these two species have apparently been officially recorded from the Marshall Islands.

Created 30 August 2015

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