Saturday, January 02, 2010

Pregnant Lacy Scorpionfish

Rhinopias aphanes

I was exploring the edge of the top shelf of Tasi Tolu yesterday, just before the slope at about 8 meters. I was thinking about the various sponges, algae, and corals that form habitats for all the great creatures we find at TT. To my delight, I found a pregnant Lacy Scorpionfish! This indivudual is usually much deeper, at 17 meters in the weedy patch. After a bit of research, I learned that scorpionfishes lay an eggsack on the surface. And my guess is that this guy was making his way to the surface to deposit his brood. And yes, it's male: Adult males are smaller than females and according to the research, they carry the eggs.

I realize it's difficult to see, but the Lacy Scorpionfish is on the bottom left of the coral in the first photo. You can click on the photo to enlarge it a bit.