Tropical Marine Scorpionfishes, Lionfishes
SCORPAENIDAE (SCORPIONFISHES LIONFISHES AND ROCKFISHES) A large family of mostly marine fishes found in all tropical and temperate seas, the scorpionfish family takes its name from the venomous spines that adorn nearly all its members. Other characteristics include a compressed body, and most have spines on the head as well as near and on the operculum. The dorsal fin, while usually single, is often notched and supported by stout
spines. Spines on the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins have venom glands at their bases that, when compressed, deliver a toxic cocktail to would-be predators or careless humans. Scorpaenidae is the largest family of fishes along the California coast, where at least 65 species, including 60 kinds of rockfishes, are known. Rockfishes possess relatively mild toxins, but should still be handled with care. Fertilization is internal. Some species lay eggs; others give live birth,
including all rockfish species
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