Neomerinthe hemingwayi

Common Name

Spinycheek Scorpionfish

Year Described

Fowler, 1935


Dorsal Fin: XII, 9.5-10.5
Anal Fin: III, 5
Pectoral Fin: 16-17
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Vertebrae: 24
Scale rows above lateral line: 60-70

Body deep (deepest at gill opening) with a huge head. Eye diameter 1.1-1.7 times in snout length. Dorsal profile convex. Ventral profile flattened. Eye and mouth large. Head with multiple strong ridges and short spines. A strong cheek ridge is present (with 3-4 spines). Preopercle with a few strong spines. Lacrimal bone with two downward-pointing spines and one small lateral one. Body covered in ctenoid scales. Spiny dorsal fin with middle spines the longest. Soft dorsal fin is rounded. Pectoral fin fanlike, with the middle rays being the longest. Upper 3-9 pectoral rays branched at tip (otherwise unbranched). Caudal fin truncate.


Body dark red, grading to white on the belly. There are numerous black to dark brown blotches on the body that become yellowish laterally. The pinkish fins are covered with black, dark brown, or yellowish spots.


Adults common to 20cm SL. Maximum size to 31.5cm SL.


Deep reefs and hard bottoms from 45-230m.


S. New Jersey to the S. Gulf of Mexico. Not found in the Caribbean Sea.


Poss, S.G. 2002. Scorpaenidae. In: FAO Species Identification Guide to Fishes of the Western Atlantic. (ed. Carpenter K), pp. 1232-1265. UN FAO Publishers, Rome.