Sawcheek Scorpionfish, Brachypterois serrulifer (Fowler 1938)

A Sawcheek Scorpionfish, Brachypterois serrulifer, at Bali, Indonesia. Source: Roger Steene / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Brachypterois serrulifer in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Sawcheek Scorpionfish, Brachypterois serrulifer (Fowler 1938)

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Recorded in Australia from the Coburg Peninsula, Northern Territory, eastwards to the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and East Africa, eastwards to the Timor Sea and north to southern Japan.


Feeds on fishes and crustaceans.


Taken as bycatch in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Similar Species

Differs from Brachyterois curvispina and B. serrulata in having more pectoral-fin rays (15–17 in B. serrulifer vs. 14–16 in both B. curvispina and B. serrulata) and fewer spots on the longest caudal-fin ray (2–10 vs. 5–13 and 5–26). B. serrulifer also has 0–22 spines on the median lateral ridge of the maxilla in specimens larger than 60 mm SL, whereas B. curvispina and B. serrulata usually lack such spines (1–3 spines are occasionally present in B. serrulata specimens larger than 80 mm SL).

Species Citation

Brachypterois serrulifer Fowler, 1938, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 85(3032): 79, fig. 35. Type locality: Albatross station D.5542, off San Fernando Point, west coast of Luzon Island, Philippines, 45 fathoms [16°30'36"N, 120°11'06"E].


Dianne J. Bray

Sawcheek Scorpionfish, Brachypterois serrulifer (Fowler 1938)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. (as B. serrulatus in part)

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

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. (as B. serrulatus)

Allen, G.R. Cross, N.J., Hoese, D.F. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Pteroinae. pp. 877-880 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. (as B. serrulata in part)

Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. & Harris, A.N. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45(3): 375-396. (as B. serrulata)

Fowler, H.W. 1938. Descriptions of new fishes obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross, chiefly in Philippine seas and adjacent waters. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 85(3032): 31-135 figs 6-61.

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. (as B. serrulata)

Kuiter, R.H. & Debelius, H. 2006. World atlas of marine fishes. IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv, Frankfurt, vi + 720 pp. (as B. serrulata)

Kuiter R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 3. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893. (as B. serrulata)

Martin, T.J., Brewer D.T. & Blaber, S.J. 1995. Factors affecting distribution and abundance of small demersal fishes in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 46(6): 909-020.

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. (2310 as B. serrulatus in part)

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 6(1): 69-84 (as B. serrulata)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287101

Danger:Venomous fin spines

Depth:27-64 m

Habitat:Soft bottoms

Max Size:95 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map