Saltar al contenido

That beautiful danger Scorpion fish

Pez escorpión

Ir a la versión en español



It is supposed that the bright colors and striking patterns of the inhabitants of the seafloor are useful for their survival, otherwise, they would not have surpassed the strict process of evolution. When observing a stonefish, there is no doubt about the effectiveness of its color in blending in or even hunting. So why does the scorpion fish, which belongs to the same family, make such an effort to become ostentatiously visible?

The sharp spines that cover the sides and back of this inhabitant of the Indian Ocean and tropical Pacific are highly venomous. When they pierce, they secrete a powerful venom capable of killing the attacking fish. Fortunately, this venom is not dangerous to humans and only causes a slight paralysis in the limb that made contact. Perhaps its color is a message, a kind of luminous sign that announces, ‘Beware, I don’t need to hide because I am very dangerous.’ And this allows it to roam the reef without much concern.

The scorpion fish is a voracious predator of smaller fish and invertebrates. Of course, its bright colors and striking patterns could be a hindrance when it comes to surprising prey. That’s why it has developed a hunting technique to go unnoticed. When it finds prey, it hovers above the seafloor, motionless, with the sun behind it, avoiding casting a shadow that could alert the prey. The shimmer caused by the sunlight on the surface makes it invisible. In this position, it studies the movements of its victim until it finally makes a rapid strike, descending upon the unsuspecting fish and swallowing it in one gulp.

‘You cannot defend what you do not love, and you cannot love what you do not know.’