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Leaf Scorpionfish

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Species group:

Other common names: Leaf Fish; Paper Scorpionfish; Paperfish; Sailfin Leaf Fish; Sailfin Leaffish; Swayfish; Threespine Scorpionfish

Scientific name: Taenianotus triacanthus

The basics:
The Leaf Scorpionfish's is sluggish compared to other fish. Their dorsal, pelvic, and anal spines are capable of delivering a painful sting, therefore, caution must be observed when handling these fish, or when working in their tank.? They are masters of disguise because they blend into their surroundings looking like a leaf, which is possible due to the presence of patches on their body that look like coralline algae. Since they have a sedentary lifestyle, it is also not uncommon for algae or other pests to grow on them. They wait for their prey to pass by, remaining stationary, and then snap up any prey that comes near. They create a vacuum with their mouth and suck the prey in as little time as 15 milliseconds. The Leaf Scorpionfish can be kept in groups of three (as they usually exist in the wild) in a species-specific tank or in a non-aggressive feeder species community. They have the ability to shed the outermost skin layer, the cuticle. Shedding is beneficial for the fish since it removes any attached algae, cyanobacteria, and parasites. The Leaf Scorpionfish has a hardy nature, small tank requirements, and the ability to resist most diseases. It may be difficult to get these fish to accept appropriate prepared foods because they prefer live food.Scorpionfish are nocturnal and may prefer to feed at night.

Appearance:
The Leaf Scorpionfish has a very compressed thin leaf-like body which sways from side to side to mimic a piece of debris in a current. It also has a sail-like dorsal fin. Scorpionfish usually camouflage themselves with tassels, warts, and specks and the Leaf Scorpion Fish has a variably developed 'beard' of fine appendages around the mouth. The Leaf Scorpionfish has ridges and spines on its head. It has ctenoid scales on its body, it sheds its skin, and it can change colors to match its surroundings. It may or may not have venom glands on its dorsal, anal, and pelvic spines. Leaf Scorpionfish are found in many different colors including red, rust, brown, yellow, pink, white, black, orange, purple, and green. Their colors are also mottled which enables them to disappear against the substrate.

Size:
4-5 inches

Temperament:
One advantage of their ability to camouflage themselves is that it assists in prey capture. They have a large mouth and are capable of swallowing prey over half their own body size. They spend their time sitting on exposed perches preying on unsuspecting smaller fishes and crustaceans, such as ornamental shrimps and crabs. They, however, do not harm sessile invertebrates. Leaf Scorpionfish are not aggressive, but when threatened, they erect their dorsal spines. When in danger, they flee very fast but only for a short distance and then quickly settle back and freeze. Very few tankmates can co-exist with these fish because most will be considered food. On the other hand, some fish may confuse the Leaf Scorpionfish with food of their own. Surgeonfish, Rabbitfish, and even Angelfish may occasionally pester Scorpion Fish, mistaking them for algae or sponges.

Housing:
The Leaf Scorpionfish should be housed in a 20- to 30-gallon tank furnished with live rock. These fishes like to perch on rocks and caves. Water flow in the tank must be kept to a minimum because Leaf Scorpionfish prefer areas protected from currents. Corals are not recommended because Leaf Scorpionfish have a sedentary lifestyle and they may choose a particular coral as a prime territory for residing--the continued presence of the fish may cause injury or death to the coral. The Leaf Scorpionfish is a bottom dweller.

Temperature:
72.00-78.00 °F

pH:
8.10-8.40

Alkalinity:
55.000-150.000 mg/

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