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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Scorpaena scrofa Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: head large, snout longer than orbit diameter (12-13% of SL against 9-10%); preorbital bone with 3-4 spinous points over maxilla; sub-orbital ridge with 2-4 spinous points; upper post-temporal spine present; other spines as for the genus. Occipital pit moderate. Pores at symphysis of lower jaw small and separate. Supraocular tentacle usually small or absent; numerous tentacles present on lower jaw, large skin flap associated with posterior preorbital spine and flaps on fourth and fifth preopercle spines. Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 9 rays; pectoral fin with 18-20 rays and not reaching the first anal spine. Scales on body ctenoid, about 45 vertical rows of scales; most of head naked or with embedded cycloid scales; pectoral fin base and chest naked. Vertebrae 24. Gillrakers 14-17 (4-5 + 10-12). Colour: variable from brick red to light pink with dark mottling or blotches; fins blotched with brown; distal part of pelvic fins usually dusky; dorsal fin with a black spot frequently present between spines 6 and 11. Size: to 50 cm, usually to 30 cm.

Habitat: benthic on rocky, sandy or muddy bottoms from 20 to 200 m. Behaviour: sedentary and solitary. Food: fishes, crustaceans and molluscs. Reproduction: no data.

Distribution: eastern Atlantic from British Isles (rare) to Senegal, Madeira, the Canaries, Cape Verde Is.; throughout Mediterranean except Black Sea.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lo Bianco, 1888: 438 | Raffaele, 1888: 25 | Holt, 1899, pl. 3 (fig. 29-32) | Lo Bianco, 1909: 749 | Fage, 1918: 109, fig. 78-79, map 14 | Sparta, 1956: 608, fig. 489-494, pl. 38 (fig. 10-20).
Otoliths (sagitta). Jaquet, 1907: 40, fig. 32C-D | Shepherd, 1910: 57, fig. 8 | Sanz Echeverría, 1926: 156, pl. 51-52 | Chaine & Duvergier, 1934: 177, pl. 6 | Chaine, 1935: 238 | Bauzá-Rullán, 1960: 56, pl. 5 (fig. 28-33) | Lafond-Grellety, 1967: 76, pl. 12 (fig. 56).

Large-scaled scorpion fish (Scorpaena scrofa)