The Paddle-flap scorpionfish or Eschmeyer’s scorpionfish, Rhinopias eschmeyeri is a very unusual looking fish . They have a very distinctive set of paddles or flaps above the eyes from which they obtain their name. As with all the scorpionfish, they are ambush predators.
The body colour varies from brown to a lavender colour with red in between . They have a laterally compressed body with a proportionally large head with a large mouth. There are numerous frills on the body which aid in camouflaging them. They have distinctive paddles or flaps over the eyes. They grow up to 23 cm in length.
IN THE WILD
The Paddle-flap scorpionfish is usually found on the reef or on rubble. Despite their sometimes bright coloration they are well camouflaged and can be difficult to spot. They are fairly rare and are not commonly seen. They are poor swimmers and tend to either make short hops across the bottom or crawl rather than swimming.
They are found across the Indo West Pacific , on reefs or rubble at depths below 18 meters.
The Paddle-flap scorpionfish are ambush predators and will eat any passing fish or crustacean that they can fit in their mouths.
Paddle-flap Scorpionfish are oviparous with females producing eggs that when fertilized are released and float near the surface. Little else is known about Paddleflap scorpionfish reproduction.
Paddle-flap Scorpionfish are kept in aquariums where they make an attractive addition, 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.
PADDELE-FLAP SCORPIONFISH CLASSIFICATION
Species: Rhinopias eschmeyer
- The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates: East and South Coasts of Southern Africa by Dennis King & Valda Fraser