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October 25, 2001

Deep Scorpion

Q: I caught this small, red fish while deep-dropping in the Bahamas. Can you identify it and provide some information on how big it gets? - Capt. Bill Harrison, Miami, FloridaA: It's a spinythroat scorpionfish (Pontinus nematophthalmus), a fairly rare sport catch. This species has a short snout - about the same length as the diameter of its eye - which differentiates it from its cousin the longsnout scorpionfish (P. castor). It also lacks the very long third dorsal spine found in its other local relative, the longspine scorpionfish (P. longispinus).

Q: I caught this small, red fish while deep-dropping in the Bahamas. Can you identify it and provide some information on how big it gets?
- Capt. Bill Harrison, Miami, Florida
A: It's a spinythroat scorpionfish (Pontinus nematophthalmus), a fairly rare sport catch. This species has a short snout - about the same length as the diameter of its eye - which differentiates it from its cousin the longsnout scorpionfish (P. castor). It also lacks the very long third dorsal spine found in its other local relative, the longspine
scorpionfish (P. longispinus).
A small, deepwater fish, ranging in depth from 250 to about 1,300 feet over rough, rocky bottom, the spinythroat grows to only 5 1/2 inches. It's found only in the western Atlantic, from Florida and the Bahamas to northeastern Brazil. Otherwise, very little is known about this fish, as it has no commercial importance.