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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Scorpaena porcus Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: head large, snout slightly smaller than orbit diameter; preorbital bone usually with 2 spinous points over maxilla; sub-orbital ridge with 2 or 3 spinous points; upper post-temporal spine present; other spines as for the genus. Occipital pit well developed. Pores at symphysis of lower jaw small and separate. Supra-ocular tentacle usually about equal to orbit diameter; skin appendages well developed; no flaps on lower jaw, small dermal flaps associated with preorbital, preocular, parietal, nuchal and preopercular spines; other tentacles at anterior nostril, below sub-orbital ridge, on eye, opercle flap, rarely on some body scales and some lateral line scales. Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 9 rays; pectoral fin with 16-18 rays and reaching to about second anal spine as maximum. Scales on body small, emarginate; 65-70 vertical rows of scales; chest, pectoral fin base and head naked. Vertebrae 24. Gillrakers 16-18, 5-6 on upper arch, 8 on ceratobranchial and 3-5 rudiments on hypobranchial. Colour: generally brownish; a light pigmented area between dorsal spines 8 and 9, fins variously spotted with brown; 3 vertical bars on caudal fin. Size: to 25 cm, usually 15 cm.

Habitat: benthic littoral species common among rocks and algae; may be found to 800 m. Behaviour: solitary and sedentary. Food: small fishes (gobies, blennies), crustaceans and other invertebrates. Reproduction: no data.

Distribution: in the eastern Atlantic from British isles to Morocco, rare to Senegal; the Azores, the Canaries; Mediterranean including Black Sea.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lo Bianco, 1888: 438 | Raffaele, 1888: 25 | Holt, 1899: 20 | Lo Bianco, 1909: 748 | Fage, 1918: 106, fig. 75-77, map 13 | Sparta, 1956: 600, fig. 482 488, pl. 38 (fig. 1-9).
Otoliths (sagitta). Koken, 1884: 535, pl. 9 (fig. 10) | Vaillant, 1888: 369 | Sanz Echeverría, 1926: 156, pl. 54 | Frost, 1929: 258, pl. 3 (fig. 3) | Jaquet, 1932: 40, fig. 32A-B | Chaine & Duvergier, 1934: 183, pl. 6 | Bauzá-Rullán, 1960: 55, pl. 5 (fig. 22-27).

Black scorpionfish (Scorpaena porcus)