Plectrogenium nanum Gilbert 1905

Other Names: Bigeye Scorpionfish, Dwarf Thornyhead

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CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Plectrogenium nanum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024,

Plectrogenium nanum Gilbert 1905

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150–600 m


Disjunct distribution on the upper continental slope of northern Australia, from Brisbane to Cape York in the east, and from Geraldton to Rowley Shoals in the west. Disjunct distribution internationally, including the Hawaiian Islands, the Kermadec Islands, Japan and Madagascar. Demersal at depths of 270-600 m.


D XII, 7; A III, 5; P 22-24; V I, 5.

Body elongate, head large (~38% SL), bearing a number of spines, particularly on lacrima and above orbits; suborbital ridge with well developed flat spines; eyes large (~37% HL); ocular flap absent. Scales ctenoid, in about 32 vertical rows. First dorsal fin spinous with moderate base, first spine about half length of second, attached broadly to second; tenth spine short, not broadly attached to following spine. Second dorsal fin with short base, connected to first by low membrane, 2 spines anteriorly and 7 soft rays. Anal fin similar in length and opposite to second dorsal fin with 3 spines anteriorly. Caudal fin truncate to weakly concave. Pectoral fins elongated, reaching almost to anal fin origin. Pelvic fins long, reaching to about anal fin origin, based below pectoral fin base.


Maximum length about 77 mm SL.


In preservative: pale tan over head and body, with dusky markings on membranes between dorsal spines.






May be caught incidentally, reportedly common off the Hawaiian Islands, no data for elsewhere.



Species Citation

Plectrogenium nanum Gilbert 1905, Bull. U.S. Fish Com. v. 23 (pt 2): 577-713, Pls. 66-101, off northern coast of Maui Island, Hawaiian Islands, U.S.A.


CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research

Plectrogenium nanum Gilbert 1905


Eschmeyer, W.N. (2008) The Catalogue of Fishes on-line. (California Academy of Sciences: San Francisco) Available from: (10 March, 2008).

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Randall. J.E. (1975) The scorpaenid fishes of the Hawaiian Islands, including new species and new records (Pisces: Scorpaenidae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (Series 4) 40(11): 265-334.

Hoese, D.F.

Paulin, C.D. (1982) Scorpionfishes of New Zealand (Pisces: Scorpaenidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 9: 437-450.

Poss, S.G. (1999) Family Scorpaenidae, Scorpionfishes (also lionfishes, rockfishes, stingfishes, stonefishes and waspfishes), pp. 2291-2352. In: K.E. Carpenter & V.H. Niem (eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4: Bony Fishes Part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287111

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map