Large-headed Scorpionfish, Pontinus macrocephalus (Sauvage 1882)

Large-headed Scorpionfish, Pontinus macrocephalus. Source: Thomas Gloerfelt-Tarp / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Pontinus macrocephalus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Jun 2020,

Large-headed Scorpionfish, Pontinus macrocephalus (Sauvage 1882)

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West of Beagle Bay, Western Australia, to the Evans Shoal Area, Timor Sea; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific.
Inhabits rocky reefs at depths of 174-278 m.


Dorsal fin XII, 9-10; Anal fin III, 5. Pectoral-fin rays unbranched in adults; vertical scale rows about 45-60; lachrymal bone with 2 spines over maxillary, first points out and back, second points mostly back; suborbital ridge with 3 or 4 spines; second preopercular spine usually absent in large specimens.

Species Citation

Sebastes macrocephalus Sauvage 1882, Bulletin de la Société Philomathique de Paris 7th 6: 169. Type locality: Hawaiian Islands.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Large-headed Scorpionfish, Pontinus macrocephalus (Sauvage 1882)


Eschmeyer, W.N. 1983. A new species of the fish genus Pontinus (Scorpaeniformes: Scorpaenidae) from off Natal, South Africa. The J.L.B Smith Institute of Ichthyology Special Publication No. 28: 1-4. open access

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 40(11): 265-334 figs 1-25 Ref at BHL

Fricke, R. 2010. Pontinus macrocephalus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T155172A115279966. Downloaded on 15 January 2019.

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. 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 

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.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 pls. 
Sauvage, H.-E. 1882. Description de quelques poissons de la collection du Muséum d'histoire naturelle. Bulletin de la Société Philomathique de Paris 7th 6: 168-176

Quick Facts

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:174-278 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:37 cm SL

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