Pontinus helena

Common Name

Helena Scorpionfish

Year Described

Eschmeyer, 1965


Dorsal Fin: XII, 9.5-10.5
Anal Fin: III, 5
Pectoral Fin: 19-20
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Scale rows above lateral line: 45

Body deep (deepest at gill opening) with a huge head. Snout about equal to eye diameter. Dorsal profile convex. Ventral profile flattened. Eye and mouth large. Head with multiple strong ridges and short spines. Lacrimal bone with a pair of downward-pointed spines. A strong cheek ridge is present (with 3-4 spines). Preopercle with a large first spine and few additional weak spines (second spine small or missing). Body covered in ctenoid scales. Lateral line complete. Spiny dorsal fin fairly high. Soft dorsal fin is truncate posteriorly. Pectoral fin fanlike, with the middle rays being the longest. Pectoral rays all unbranched. Caudal fin truncate.


Rosy red with scattered lighter mottling. Sometimes with a few darker markings. Soft dorsal, anal, and caudal fins with rosy spots along finrays. Belly pale.


Maximum size to 18.6cm SL.


Hard bottoms to depths of up to 400m.


Only known from Venezuela to Suriname.


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.