Scorpionfish, deep water (Idiastion kyphos)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. Very little is known about this specific small deep-water scorpionfish because it was only recently observed on deep reefs of the Gulf of Mexico. This tiny master of camouflage is hard to observe in the wild because it only grows to be a few inches long and hides in coral and rocks.
Figure 1: Relative probability of occurrence of Scorpionfish, deep water (Idiastion kyphos) based on computer generated distribution maps. Data source: AquamapsDepth Profile
Figure 2: Approximate depth range of Scorpionfish (black box). Slope of seafloor is a generalized representation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf and outer continental shelf.