A Colorful Ambush Predator

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The popeyed scorpionfish, Rhinopias frondosa, is a colorful ambush predator which hides in plain sight, sometimes being surprisingly difficult to distinguish from a piece of coral or plant life. The species varies tremendously in color and shape. Popeyed scorpionfish found in areas with soft corals, such as this one, have very few tendrils on the body, whereas those found among rocks with a lot of algae, can have a large number of tendrils giving them the alternate name of weedy scorpion fish.

They often sway their bodies mimicking the movement of a plant in the current, sometimes doing this even when there is no current. They tend not to swim and actually “walk” across the ocean floor using their pectoral fins and tails.

Photo taken with a Canon EOS 7D and a Tokina AT-X 100mm Macro Lens.

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