Smoothskin scorpionfish

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Smoothskin scorpionfish
Smoothskin scorpionfish.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Tetrarogidae
Genus: Coccotropsis
Barnard, 1927
Species: C. gymnoderma
Binomial name
Coccotropsis gymnoderma
(Gilchrist, 1906)

The smoothskin scorpionfish (Coccotropsis gymnoderma) is the only member of the genus Coccotropsis. It is a member of the waspfish family (Tetrarogidae).


The smoothskin scorpionfish is only found off the South African coast from the Cape Peninsula to Algoa Bay in 9-110 m. It is endemic to this region.[1]


The smoothskin scorpionfish is a small, well-camouflaged fish, with an orange body having a distinctive cream patch to the rear. The fish may reach 50 mm in total length. The head has a pleated, wrinkled appearance and the dorsal fin has spines. The head may occasionally be pinkish.[1][2]


This fish is common on reefs but is seldom spotted due to its cryptic colouring and sedentary habits. It is usually not solitary.

In keeping with other members of the waspfish family, it is extremely venomous and contact should be avoided.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Smith, M.M. and Heemstra, P.C. (eds.) 2003. Smiths' Sea Fishes ISBN 1-86872-890-0
  2. ^ Zsilavecz, G. 2005. Coastal Fishes of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay ISBN 0-620-34230-7