Scorpis aequipinnis

Sea sweep
Scorpis aequipinnis
Scorpis aequipinnis, Busselton, WA, Photo: Graham Edgar
Scorpis aequipinnis
Scorpis aequipinnis, juvenile, Chain of Bays, SA, Photo: Andrew Green
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Scorpis aequipinnis
Scorpis aequipinnis


Temperate Australasia


One of the largest species in the family, reaching a maximum weight of nearly 4 kg. It has symmetrically placed dorsal and anal fins, a grey body, yellow markings on the lower lip, and two faint bands on the sides of the body. The sea sweep occurs in open water, most commonly in shallow turbulent areas beside reefs. It is sometimes caught by line and is good eating.


Max Size: 40 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 11.6-22.7°C

Depth: 1-25 m

Habitat Generalization Index: 9.37

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: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Common (40.1% 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: Several (6 per transect)

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

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney