Blackbelly rosefish (Helicolenus dactylopterus)

Photo Credit: S.W. Ross and M. Rhode (UNCW)

Description: You can’t tell from simply looking at it, but the blackbelly rosefish is named for its belly. On the outside the belly of the fish looks like the rest of its body, but the internal lining of its belly is black. This is one of the most common fishes on the continental slope and is often harvested commercially as a non-targeted or bycatch species in some parts of its range. The blackkbelly rosefish is a scorpionfish and is armed with bony spines covered in venomous mucus. It can live to be 40 years old, and it has an interesting breeding talent. After breeding the female blackbelly rosefish can store sperm within her ovaries to delay egg fertilization and even spawn multiple batches of young after a single mating event.

Geographic Distribution

Figure 1: Relative probability of occurrence of Blackbelly rosefish (Helicolenus dactylopterus) based on computer generated distribution maps. Data source: Aquamaps

Depth Profile

Figure 2: Approximate depth range of Blackbelly rosefish (black box). Slope of seafloor is a generalized representation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf and outer continental shelf.