Synanceia verrucosa

Reef Stonefish
Synanceia verrucosaSynanceia verrucosa, Maldives, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Synanceia verrucosaSynanceia verrucosa, Keppel Islands, Queensland, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Synanceia verrucosaSynanceia verrucosa, Naigani Is, Fiji, Photo: Andrew Green
Synanceia verrucosaSynanceia verrucosa, Naigani Is, Fiji, Photo: Andrew Green
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Synanceia verrucosa
Synanceia verrucosa
Synanceia verrucosa
Synanceia verrucosa


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Large head and tapering body, mouth is on top of face and opens vertically. Extremely well camouflaged, sits on the bottom completely motionless, sometimes buried in sand with only eyes and mouth visible. Has a depression between eyes, unlike very similar S. horrida (Estuarine Stonefish), which has a ridge between the eyes. Both Synanceia (Stonefishes) species have potent venom in spines on their backs which, if a wound is received, causes excruciating pain and in some cases death.


Max Size: 40 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 14.9-30.8°C

Depth: 0-30m

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: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Rare (0.5% 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: Solitary (1 per transect)

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

Edit by: RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland

Further Information