Scorpaena scrofa

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Scorpaena scrofa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Scorpaenidae
Genus: Scorpaena
S. scrofa
Binomial name
Scorpaena scrofa
  • Scorpaena barbata (non Bonnaterre, 1788)
  • Scorpaena barbata (non Gronow, 1854)
  • Scorpaena lutea Risso, 1810
  • Scorpaena natalensis Regan, 1906
  • Scorpaenopsis natalensis (Regan, 1906)
  • Sebastapistes scorfa (Linnaeus, 1758)

Scorpaena scrofa, common name the red scorpionfish, bigscale scorpionfish, large-scaled scorpion fish[2] or Rascasse is a venomous marine species of fish in the family Scorpaenidae, the "scorpionfish".[1]


Scorpaena scrofa is the largest eastern Atlantic scorpion fish.[3] Colouration ranges from brick-red to a light pink, and it has dark coloured blotches on its body. It has venomous spines, can achieve a maximum weight of approximately 3 kilograms (6.6 lb).[4] It can grow to a maximum length of 50 centimetres (20 in), but is commonly around 30 cm (12 in).[4]

It has 12 dorsal spines, 9 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines, and 5 soft rays. It often has a dark spot on its spinous dorsal spines between the 6th and 11th.[4][5] It has long supraorbital tentacles.


This species is found in the Mediterranean Sea. It is also found in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean around the British Isles, where it is rare, south to Senegal, the Canary Islands, and Cape Verde.[4]


Scorpaena scrofa is demersal and lives in marine, and brackish environments with rocky, sandy or muddy bottoms at depths of 20–500 m (66–1,640 ft).[4] By day, it lives in burrows and caves. At night it comes out to hunt.[3]


This species is a sedentary, solitary and non-migratory fish. It is predatory, feeding on other fish, as well as crustaceans and molluscs.[4] This is one of the fish used by the marine leech Pontobdella muricata as a host.[6]

As food[edit]

Scorpaena scrofa is a traditional ingredient in Marseille bouillabaisse. It is also widely used in Japanese cuisine.


  1. ^ a b Scorpaena scrofa Linnaeus, 1758. Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 15 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Marine Species Identification Portal : Large-scaled scorpion fish - Scorpaena scrofa". Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Scorpaena scrofa". Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Scorpaena scrofa" in FishBase. April 2014 version.
  5. ^ Greece. "Red Scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa) | Archipelago Wildlife Library". Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  6. ^ "Pontobdella muricata Linnaeus, 1758". SeaLifeBase. Retrieved 27 December 2019.

External links[edit]