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Related FAQs: Lionfishes & Rockfishes,

Articles and FAQ Files on Related Groups: Keeping Lionfishes and their Scorpaeniform Kin Part 1, Part 2, by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner, Lionfish & Their Relatives (Pteroinae), Subfamily Choridactylinae (Inimicinae), Subfamily Scorpaeninae (Rock and Scorpionfishes), Subfamily Synanceinae, the Stonefishes, Subfamily Tetraroginae, Sailback Scorpionfishes or Wasp Fishes, Family Triglidae, the Searobins or Gurnards, Family Dactylopteridae/Flying Gurnards

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

 Rockfishes, Lionfishes and Kin, Family Scorpaenidae

By Bob Fenner

Pterois radiata

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

The Various Lionfish and Related Groups

Lionfishes are members of the scorpion- or rockfish family Scorpaenidae ("Score-pea-nah-dee") a group of fishes important to humans as food fishes and sources of envenomation (the subfamilies Synanceinae, the Stonefishes, and Pteroinae, the Lionfishes, among others). The non-toxic, but still very spiny rockfishes, in the genera Sebastes, and Sebastolobus are prominent table fare, sold as 'Pacific Snapper' in the U.S. though they are not in the snapper family, Lutjanidae. As Billy Shakespeare might say (or write) what's in a name; sheesh.

For those few of us into higher taxonomy, you're referred to Nelson's latest edition of Fishes of the World, 1994. Scorpaenids are part of the Order Scorpaeniformes, the 'Mail-Cheeked Fishes', referring to the numerous processes on these fishes gill covers. A brief synopsis here for sake of granting you insights into the breadth of this group, and logical links to pages on the WWM site:

Order Scorpaeniformes, the "Mail-Cheeked Fishes", 25 families, about 166 genera, 1,271 species.

    Suborder Dactylopteroidei, Family Dactylopteridae, the Flying Gurnards. Two genera, about 7 species.

    Suborder Scorpaenoidei. Contains world's most venomous fishes. Seven families, about 96 genera, 544 species.

        Family Scorpaenidae, the Scorpionfishes and Rockfishes. 56 plus genera and 388 species.

            Subfamily Sebastinae, the Rockfishes. Important foodfishes. Four genera, about 128 species.

            Subfamily Scorpaeninae, various Scorpionfishes. 15 plus genera with more than 150 species.

            Subfamily Sebastolobinae. Three genera of five species.

            Subfamily Plectrogeninae. One genus, two species.

            Subfamily Pteroinae. The Lionfishes and Turkeyfishes.

            Subfamily Setarchinae. Three genera, five species.

            Subfamily Neosebastinae. Two genera, twelve species.

            Subfamily Apistinae. Three monotypic genera.          

  Subfamily Tetraroginae, Sailback Scorpionfishes or Wasp Fishes. 11 plus genera and 35 species.

            Subfamily Minoinae. One genus, 11 species.

            Subfamily Choridactylinae (Inimicinae). Two genera, ten species.

            Subfamily Synanceinae, the Stonefishes proper. Six genera, ten species.

    Family Caracanthidae, Orbicular Velvetfishes. One genus, four species.

    Family Aploactinidae, the Velvetfishes. Approximately 17 genera and 37 species.

    Family Pataecidae, Australian Prowfishes. Three genera and nine species.

    Family Gnathacanthidae, the Red Velvetfish. One species.

    Family Congiopodidae, the (bizarre) Racehorses, aka Pigfishes, Horsefishes. Four genera, 9 species.

    Family Triglidae, the Searobins or Gurnards. Divided into two subfamilies and three Tribes. 

Suborder Platycephaloidei, Crocodilefishes, Flatheads. Three families, 23 genera, about 75 species.

    Family Bembridae, the Deepwater Flatheads. Four genera, five species.

    Family Platycephalidae, Crocodilefishes or Flatheads. 18 genera of about 60 species.

    Family Hoplichthyidae, the Ghost Flatheads. One genus, ten species

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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