The leaf fish has coloration patterns that make it similar in appearance to an algae-covered sponge. This type of venomous fish be seen in a wide variety of colors, including pink, yellow, white (or off-white), and black, to name a few I have seen. As with other scorpionfish, leaf fish do not cruise the reef as do other fish-- they move suddenly, and only long enough to find a different perch from which to observe potential victims. Waiting patiently, they sway gently from side to side in the current, perhaps mimicking a piece of lightweight reef debris. Smaller than most reef scorpionfish, this one is about 3 1/2 inches in length, nearing its maximum length of about 100 cm (four inches). Leaf fish are also known as "paper fish".
Identification: Taenianotus triacanthus
back to Gallery I