Scorpaenodes xyris

Rainbow scorpionfish
Scorpaenodes xyris
Scorpaenodes xyris, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Photo: Graham Edgar


Tropical Eastern Pacific


Small, with variable, mottled red colouration, a dark rounded spot on lower corner of gill cover, a lateral stripe of alternating red and white dashes, and a white blotch on back at meeting point of first and second dorsal fins. Common throughout its range but cryptic and rarely seen. Inhabits cracks crevices and over hangs on steep reef slopes and walls.


Max Size: 15 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 25-30.2°C

Depth: 0-50m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Frequent (11.0% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: Joe Shields