Pontinus longispinis

Common Name

Longspine Scorpionfish

Year Described

Goode & Bean, 1896


Dorsal Fin: XII, 9.5
Anal Fin: III, 5
Pectoral Fin: 16-18
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Scale rows above lateral line: 45-50

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 (point more anteriorly) and one lateral spine. A strong cheek ridge is present (with 4 spines). Preopercle with a few strong spines (second spine small or missing). Hypohyals without an extended ventral process. Body covered in ctenoid scales. Lateral line complete. Spiny dorsal fin fairly high, with an elongated third spine. Soft dorsal fin is truncate posteriorly. Pectoral fin fanlike, with the middle rays being the longest. Pectoral rays all unbranched. Caudal fin truncate.


Pale pink to orange with obscure darker mottling. Scattered darker spots, especially along lateral line. Belly pale. Dorsal, anal, pectoral and caudal fins with pink or orange spots along finrays.


Maximum size to 25cm SL.


Bottom living over soft or hard bottoms from 80-440m.


Disjunct distribution: one population from South Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and the other from Panama to Brazil.


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.