There are few fish with better camouflage than the Scorpaenidae. Slow-moving, bottom-dwelling ambush predators, these fish are masters of disappearing into their surroundings.
After publishing my last post, I decided to dig out some pictures of Scorpionfish from the Red Sea. In the main image you can see a fish that I only spotted by accident as I slowly finned across some coral rubble. As I recall, I spotted the animal’s eye (in spite of the flap of skin, the lappet, which partly breaks up the eye’s outline). I was fortunate to get a shot of it flexing its jaw muscles which shows just how large their mouths are and how they can engulf prey that wanders too close. I think you’ll be able to see for yourself just how well these fish blend in.
Even as youngsters Scorpaeniformes are hard to find. This tiny specimen, only a few centimeters long, would be very hard to spot amongst coral rubble.
As we all know, scorpionfish are able to change their coloration to aid with ‘fitting in’. They are masters of disguise.
Every so often you spot a scorpion that has clearly just moved and has yet to amend its coloration or find a more suitable location.
This fish is resting in a head of Porites and really stands out. I imagine that it was recently disturbed, possibly by another diver in my group. I imagine there is also a story behind the the fish pictured below as well. It is sitting amongst a Xeniid and is possibly the palest adult scorpionfish I have ever seen.