Atlantic thornyhead (Trachyscorpia cristulata)Photo Credit: S.W. Ross and M. Rhode (UNCW)
Description: Look but don’t touch; these gorgeous creatures have poisonous spines to protect them from predators and are known to cause some serious pain. This tiny master of camouflage is an ambush predator; it perches on top of deep reef coral and waits for prey to swim by.
Figure 1: Relative probability of occurrence of Atlantic thornyhead (Trachyscorpia cristulata) based on computer generated distribution maps. Data source: AquamapsDepth Profile
Figure 2: Approximate depth range of Atlantic thornyhead (black box). Slope of seafloor is a generalized representation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf and outer continental shelf.