Synanceia horrida   (Linnaeus,  1766) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Dubosc, J.

Size: 30-60 cm.

Color: A drab species, usually brownish grey to reddish brown with a pattern of fine lines across the caudal fin.

Height 2.1-2.6, 2.6-3 in length with caudal. Head 2.1-2.4. 2.5-2.9 in length with caudal. Eye 8.6-13.8, 2.7-3.4 in snout and 1.7-2.4 in interorbital space. Mouth vertical. Villi form bands of teeth in the jaw. A more or less triangular or crescentic patch of small teeth on vomer, sometimes wanting. Lips fringed with small tentacles. Preorbital with two short spines, directed outwards, both covered with thick skin, and the anterior one with a fleshy flap. The suborbitals are not arranged in a straight line but make an angle with each other of about 90 degrees, the top directed outwards. Above them a large, deep groove, bordered above by the almost vertically rising frontal, which forms the upper part of the orbit. The eyes, which are possibly retractile, and look outwards, hence high up, as well as the interorbital space, which rises up still higher. A very deep saddle-like, transverse depression behind eye, hence the eyes look as being stalked. About five spines along edge of preopercle, the hinder most longest, all covered with thick skin. Two diverging ridges on opercle, ending in blunt spines and also covered with thick skin. Origin of dorsal immediately behind the occipital depression, in a vertical line through hind border of preopercle. The first and second spines close together, diverging. The second is longest, somewhat more than length of snout. The other spines subequal and much shorter than the second one. Soft part of dorsal rounded, the longest rays somewhat longer than longest spines. Anal spines short, the third longest and less than half length of second dorsal spine. Soft anal rounded, much less deep than soft dorsal. All spines and rays of dorsal and anal covered by thick skin. Dorsal and anal rays forked. Base of pectorals long and oblique, the longest rays almost as long as head. Ventral spine as long as first dorsal spine, the last ray broadly attached to skin of belly. Caudal slightly rounded. Body and tail covered with more or less regular rows of fleshy wattles, which also spread on the dorsal. Eyes well elevated compared to the reef stonefish S. verrucosa.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Scorpaena horrida Linnaeus, 1766
Scorpaena horrida Bloch, 1787
Synanceja horrida Bloch Schneider, 1801
Synanceia horrida Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829
Synanceia trachynis Richardson, 1842
Synancidium horridum Gunther, 1860
Synancidium horridum Kner, 1867
Synancidium horridum Day, 1875
Synanceia horrida Bleeker, 1874
Synancidium horridum Fowler, 1928
Synanceja horrida Whitely, 1930
Synanceja trachynis Whitley, 1932
Synanceia horrida Herre, 1952

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
In Guinness Book of Records as most venomous fish.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine



Literature Source(s)
  • Ghadessy, FJ; Chen, D; Manjunatha, KR; Chung Maxey, CM; Jeyaseelan, K; Khoo, HE and Raymond, Y (1996) Stonustoxin is a novel lethal factor from stonefish (Synanceja horrida) venom. cDNA cloning and characterization Journal of Biological Chemistry 271 (41) 25575-25581 Available at - Zoological Records
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Beaufort, LF and Briggs, JC (1962) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Pataudi House, Daryaganj, New Delhi 11 481 pp Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2010-04-08

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