Round Scorpionfish, Neomerinthe erostris (Alcock 1896)

Other Names: Round Scorpionfish

A Round Scorpionfish, Neomerinthe erostris, from off Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea. Source: Karen Gowlett Holmes / CSIRO. License: All rights reserved

A scorpionfish with a distinct longitudinal ridge on the lateral surface of the maxilla and a strongly rounded dorsal profile of the head. In Australia, this species was previously called Neomerinthe rotunda, a junior synonym of N. erostris.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Neomerinthe erostris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Nov 2023,

Round Scorpionfish, Neomerinthe erostris (Alcock 1896)

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Off Barrow Island, Western Australia, to off Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west Pacific from Madagascar and Yemen eastwards to Wallis and Futuna Islands, at depths of 52–505 m


Dorsal fin XII, 8-9; Anal fin III, 5; Pectoral fin 17-19; Longitudinal scale rows 33–41 (mode 37); Pored lateral-line scales 23–25 (24); Scale rows above lateral line 5–8 (6), Scale rows below lateral line 9–12 (11); Scale rows between last dorsal-fin spine base and lateral line 4–6 (5); Scale rows between sixth dorsal-fin spine base and lateral line 4–6 (5); Gill rakers 14–21 (17).
Lateral surface of maxilla with a distinct longitudinal ridge; lateral lacrimal spine absent; 3 suborbital spines; distinct second preopercular spine present; posterior margin of maxilla reaching or extending beyond vertical through posterior margin of orbit; minute slit behind last gill arch; dorsal profile of head strongly rounded; eye large, orbit diameter greater than snout length.

Species Citation

Scorpaena erostris Alcock 1896, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal 65(2)3: 302. Type locality: Off southern Sri Lanka, 6°06'30"N, 81°23'00"E, Investigator station 59, depth 34 or 42 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Round Scorpionfish, Neomerinthe erostris (Alcock 1896)


Alcock, A.W. 1896. Natural history notes from H.M. Indian marine survey steamer ‘Investigator,’ Commander C.F. Oldham, R.N., commanding. Series II. No. 23. A supplementary list of the marine fishes of India, with descriptions of two new genera and eight new species. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 65 (Pt. 2, No. 3): 301–338. See ref at BHL

Alcock, A.W. 1898. Fishes, part 5. Illustrations of the zoology of the Royal Indian marine surveying steamer Investigator. Trustees of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, pls. 18–24

Chen, L.C. 1981. Scorpaenid fishes of Taiwan. Quarterly Journal of the Taiwan Museum 34(1/2): 1-60 figs 1-51 (described as Neomerinthe rotunda, type locality Off Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Fricke, R., Kulbicki, M. & Wantiez, L. 2011. Checklist of the fishes of New Caledonia, and their distribution in the Southwest Pacific Ocean (Pisces). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie) Neue Serie 4: 341-463 (p. 377, as Neomerinthe rotunda)

Matsumoto, T., Muto, N. & Motomura, H. 2023. Neomerinthe ignea, a new species of scorpionfish (Teleostei: Scorpaenidae) from the western Pacific Ocean, with a review of records of N. erostris (Alcock 1896). Ichthyological Research.

Motomura, H. 2010. Neomerinthe rotunda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154885A4659167. Downloaded on 07 November 2015.

Motomura, H., Causse, R., Béarez, P. & Mishra, S.S. 2015. Redescription of the Indo-West Pacific scorpionfish (Scorpaenidae), Neomerinthe erostris (Alcock 1896), a senior synonym of Scorpaena gibbifrons Fowler 1938, N. rotunda Chen 1981, and N. bathyperimensis Zajonz & Klausewitz 2002. Zootaxa 4021(4): 529–540. (Lectotype designation)

Motomura, H., Béarez, P. & Causse, R. 2011. Review of Indo-Pacific specimens of the subfamily Scorpaeninae (Scorpaenidae), deposited in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, with description of a new species of Neomerinthe. Cybium 35(1): 55-73. (p. 61, as Neomerinthe rotunda, a possible synonym of N. erostris)

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 pp. 2069-2790. (p. 2323, as Neomerinthe rotunda)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287133

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern (as N. rotunda)

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:52-505 m

Habitat:Bottom dweller, incl. seamounts

Max Size:9.5 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map