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The Leaf Scorpionfish is always a fun find on Jack’s Diving Locker boat trips. Often mistaken for a leaf swaying in the surge, the Leaf Scorpionfish has a dorsal fin that is permanently extended that has 12 spines. Even with these spines, the Leaf Scorpionfish has considerably weaker venom than the lionfish and stonefish.
Leaf Scorpionfish can come in a variety of colors and can even change colors once it molts every 10-14 days to rid itself from an abundance of algae and other growths. Full grown Leaf Scorpionfish get to be about 4 inches long. They are often found tucked in heads of branching coral which can make it tricky for photographers to get a full body shot! They are found in deep and shallow waters and are common in Hawaiian waters.
The sole member of its genus (Taenianotus), the Leaf Scorpionfish feasts on small crustaceans such as small fish, shrimp, and larvae. When a meal comes nearby, the Leaf Scorpionfish moves slowly towards its dinner using their pectoral fins. At the right moment, the victim is sucked in by a quick and sudden opening of its mouth.
If the Leaf Scorpionfish is on your ‘must see’ list, let your JDL dive guide know and we will be on the lookout for these fun fish!