Mozambique Scorpionfish- Facts and Photographs

Mozambique scorpionfish Parascorpaena Mossambica

The Mozambique scorpionfish Parascorpaena Mossambica is one of the smaller scorpionfish. They have a very distinctive set of elongated cirri above the eyes that resemble antlers. As with all the scorpionfish, they are ambush predators.


The body colour varies from brown to a lavender colour with red in between as in the images. They have a typical scorpionfish  shaped body with a proportionally large head with a large mouth. There are numerous frills on the body which aid in camouflaging them. They grow up to 15 cm in length.

Mozambique scorpionfish Parascorpaena Mossambica


The Mozambique scorpionfish is usually seen in areas with sandy bottoms or rubble, sometimes in crevices. They are also found in weedy areas in lagoons. Despite their sometimes bright coloration they are well camouflaged and can be difficult to spot. This specimen was photographed on Mafia Island .

Mozambique scorpionfish Parascorpaena Mossambica


It used to be thought that they were widely distributed across the Indo pacific. Recent research using DNA has shown the ones found in the eastern Indian Ocean and Pacific areas to be a separate species. They have been renamed Parascorpaena armata. Current thinking is that Parascorpaena Mossambica is only found in the western Indian Ocean.  They are found from 2 meters to 20 meters in depth.

Mozambique scorpionfish Parascorpaena Mossambica


They are ambush predators and will eat any passing fish or crustacean that they can fit in their mouths.


They are oviparous with females producing eggs that when fertilized are released and float near the surface. Little else is known about scorpionfish reproduction.

Mozambique scorpionfish Parascorpaena Mossambica


They are kept in aquariums but will eat anything that fits in their mouths so care has to be taken in choosing their tank mates. As  with most scorpionfish they are relatively easy to get onto prepared foods.


Phylum:  Chordata
Class:      Actinopterygii
Order:     Scorpaeniformes
Family:   Scorpaenidae
Genus:    Parascorpaena
Species:  P. mossambica


Mozambique scorpionfish Parascorpaena Mossambica



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Profile photo of Alan Sutton

Alan Sutton is an underwater photographer and writer at Seaunseen.

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