Cockscomb Lionfish, Ebosia bleekeri (Döderlein 1884)

A Cockscomb Lionfish, Ebosia bleekeri, at Izu Ocean Park, Japan. Source: Izuzuki / License: CC BY Attribution-ShareAlike

A sexually dimorphic lionfish. Males have a pair thin elongated curved bony crests on the top rear of the head, and yellowish to orange median fins. Females have a low spiny ridge on the head and reddish median fins.

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Dianne J. Bray, Ebosia bleekeri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024,

Cockscomb Lionfish, Ebosia bleekeri (Döderlein 1884)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from N of the Dampier Archipelago, WA, to SE of Fingal Bay, near NE of Newcastle, NSW; tropical, west Pacific.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin XIII, 8-11 (usually 10 rays); Anal fin III, 6-8 (usually 7 rays); Pectoral fin 15-17; Scale rows in longitudinal series 44-51; Scales above LLat 5-7; Scales below LLat 8-12; Gill rakers 4-6 + 10-12 = 14-17; Vertebrae 24.

The parietal spine of males becomes a thin elongated bony crest, curved posteriorly with growth; females have a low parietal ridge with a spinous margin.


Males and females are sexually dimorphic in the development and shape of the parietal crest. The parietal is a paired bone separated by the supraocciptal bone, and located on each side of the rear of the head above the auditory region. Males have a pari of large bony crests on the parietal bones, whereas females have a low spiny ridge.

Similar Species

Differs from other species in the genus in having 7 (usually) anal-fin soft rays, 16 (usually) pectoral-fin rays, the elongated parietal spine of males relatively broad and weakly falcate, and the pectoral fins entirely red in males.

Species Citation

Pterois bleekeri Döderlein, 1884, Denkschr. Kaiserlich. Akad. Wissensch. Wien 49(1): 200, pl. 6 (fig. 1-1a). Type locality: Tokyo, Japan.


Dianne J. Bray

Cockscomb Lionfish, Ebosia bleekeri (Döderlein 1884)


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp

Chan WL, Chilvers RM (1973) Ichthyological notes: I. first records of Ebosia bleekeri (Steindachner and Döderlein) from the South China Sea. Hong Kong Fish Bull 3: 103–106.

Döderlein, L. in Steindachner, F. & Döderlein, L. 1884. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Fische Japan's. (III.). Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Wien 49(1): 171-212.

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Rama-Rao, K.V. 1978. A new scorpionfish, Ebosia falcata (Scorpaenidae, Pteroinae), from the western Indian Ocean, with comments on the genus. Matsya 3: 64-71.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Mandrytsa, S.A. 2001. Lateral Line System and Classification of Scorpaenoid Fishes (Scorpeaniformes: Scorpaenidei). Perm : Perm State Univ. Press pp. 1-393.

Matsunuma, M & Motomura, H. 2014. A new species of scorpionfish, Ebosia saya (Scorpaenidae: Pteroinae), from the western Indian Ocean and notes on fresh coloration of Ebosia falcata. Ichthyological Research DOI 10.1007/s10228-014-0445-4.

Poss, S.G. 1999. Families Scorpaenidae, Caracanthidae, Aploactinidae. pp. 2291-2358 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 2069-2790 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287113

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:53-220 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Silty sand, mud bottoms

Max Size:22 cm SL

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