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Weedy Scorpionfish, Rhinopia

Rhinopias frondosa


The weedy scorpionfish, commonly called popeyed scorpionfish, Rhinopias frondosa, is a benthic marine fish which belongs to the family Scorpaenidae or also known as the Scorpion-fishes family. The weedy scorpionfish has a highly compressed body, can reach a maximum length of 23 cm, and can vary considerably in color as well as appendages depending on its environment. Specimens found in rocky, algae rich waters are covered in weed-like appendages, whereas specimens found in deeper soft-bottomed waters with soft corals and sponges have fewer appendages. Color can range vastly from dark red and purple to yellow and lavender. The variations differ so vastly that the specimens are often misidentified as between this species and two related species, Rhinopias aphanes and Rhinopias eschmeyeri . Indeed, some have argued Rhinopias eschmeyeri is a morphological variant of Rhinopias frondosa rather than a separate species. However, a 2006 study by Motomura and Johnson confirmed R. eschmeyeri's existence and distinguished it from other members of the genus Rhinopias.


A beautiful fish, very rare, but once found, can be easily located again as they tend to stay at the same place unless disturbed. Highly sought after by Underwater Photographers and considered a 'Holy Grail' critter. This spot is the purple variation of the Rhinopia frondosa. Another variation is in this spotting :

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AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thank you, @staccyh.
Yes, they are a rare find and lovely creature :)

staccyh 6 years ago

I love your last photo, this is such a cool creature. Love the colour too. Nice find!

AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Rieko :), thier pectoral fins are partly transparent, makes them quite unique!

RiekoS 6 years ago

Amazing.. 3rd picture is fantastic.

AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Marta :)

The MnMs
The MnMs 6 years ago

Absolutely fascinating!

AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Leanne :)

LeanneGardner 6 years ago

That is just amazing.......

AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Reza :)

Extraordinary !

AlbertKang 6 years ago

Thanks, @Antonio :)
This Rhinopias are gorgeous in their ugly way :D
Holy Grail among scuba divers into macro photography.

wow Albert,this one is just beautiful,great series,great info,amazing collours,a perfect spotting,congrats and thanks for sharing

Spotted by

Batangas, Philippines

Spotted on Mar 3, 2014
Submitted on Mar 3, 2014

Related Spottings

Weedy scorpionfish Weedy Scorpionfish Weedy Scorpionfish Paddle Flap Scorpionfish/Rhinopias

Nearby Spottings

Paddleflap Scorpionfish/Rhinopia Paddleflap Scorpionfish/Rhinopia Clown Triggerfish Peacock Razorfish - Sub-adult


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