False stonefish (species: Scorpaenopsis diabolus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Scorpaenopsis diabolus
False stonefish

©Anne Hoggett: Scorpaenopsis diabolus about 25 cm long at South Island, Lizard Island Group. Note humped back; head is at right.

©Anne Hoggett: Scorpaenopsis diabolus at South Island showing part of the brightly-coloured inner side of the pectoral fin.

©Damaris Torres-Pulliza: Scorpaenopsis diabolus at Horseshoe Reef, Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Scorpaeniformes
Family Scorpaenidae
Genus Scorpaenopsis
Species Scorpaenopsis diabolus



Distinguishing features

A well-camouflaged scorpionfish with a humped back. Inner surface of pectoral fins brightly coloured, exposed only when alarmed.


  • Up to 30 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Up to 70 m



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Rarely seen but that may be due to its good camouflage

Web resources


  • requires treatment - Venom injected via spines along body.


  • Caley, M.J. (1995). Reef fish community structure and dynamics: in interaction between local and larger-scale processes? Marine Ecology Progress Series, 129: 19-29. LIRS catalog number 448.