Phenacoscorpius nebris

Common Name

Short-tube Scorpionfish

Year Described

Eschmeyer, 1965


Dorsal Fin: XII, 8.5
Anal Fin: III, 5
Pectoral Fin: 15-17
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Vertebrae: 25
Scale rows above lateral line:

Body very deep (deepest at gill opening) with a huge head. 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 5-6 spines). Preopercle with a few strong spines (second spine missing). Lacrimal bone with two downward-pointing spines. Body covered in ctenoid scales. Lateral line with only 3-5 scales, otherwise incomplete. Spiny dorsal fin with middle spines the longest. Soft dorsal fin is rounded. Pectoral fin small and fanlike, with the upper rays being the longest. Upper pectoral rays branched at tip (lower rays unbranched). Caudal fin truncate.


Red or pink with three irregular dark saddle markings on the dorsal surface of the body behind the gill cover. Dark markings on head. Soft dorsal, caudal, and pectoral fin with dark red spots. A dark blotch on the rear part of the spiny dorsal fin. A diffuse bar on the caudal peduncle formed by a concentration of melanophores.


Maximum size to 8.4cm SL.


Bottom dwelling from 64-499m.


Known only from the N. Gulf of Mexico, off Venezuela, and off the SE U.S. (Ross & Quattrini, 2009).


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.

Ross, S.W. and A.M. Quattrini. 2009. Deep-sea reef fish assemblage patterns on the Blake Plateau (Western North Atlantic Ocean). Marine Ecology 30: 74-92.