Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 30 m (Ref. 37816). Tropical; 30°N - 30°S, 30°E - 139°W
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to French Polynesia, north to the Ryukyu and Ogasawara islands, south to Queensland, Australia.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 24 - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3503); common length : 27.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450); max. published weight: 2.4 kg (Ref. 11441)
(total): 12 - 14;
soft rays: 5 - 6. Colors matching surroundings and extremely well-camouflaged (Ref. 48635). Pelvic and anal fins spines are similarly developed. 12-14 stout grooved spines, each with a large venom sack at its base (Ref. 37816).
Most widespread stonefish (Ref. 4313). Found on sandy or rubble areas of reef flats and shallow lagoons and in small pools during low tide well camouflaged among the substrate and sometimes even covered with algae (Ref. 5213, 5503). Solitary species (Ref. 37816). Feeds on fishes and crustaceans. The dorsal fin has 2 grooves serving as seringes of venom; their stings are excruciatingly painful and can occasionally be fatal. A serum exists which is effective if applied immediately after the infliction. World's most venomous fish (Ref. 37816). Uncommon in markets. In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). Also Ref. 57406.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Poss, S.G. and K.V. Rama Rao, 1984. Scorpaenidae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51). Vol. 4. FAO, Rome. pag. var. (Ref. 3503)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.9 - 29.3, mean 28.3 °C (based on 3300 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01622 (0.00604 - 0.04358), b=3.06 (2.83 - 3.29), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.73 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (58 of 100) .