Education Bullet
Education and Outreach

Creature Feature: Titan scorpionfish

Titan scorpionfish at Midway.
Titan scorpionfish at Midway. Photo Credit: James Watt

Scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis cacopsis, nohu in Hawaiian) are experts at camouflage. They have short appendages that very closely resemble algae, and coloration that matches the surfaces they lie upon. Nohu are ambush predators and lie motionless on the bottom until their unwary prey venture too close to the large mouth and get sucked in. The titan scorpionfish is the largest of this species in Hawaiʻi by far. It can grow to about 20 inches and is endemic. The Hawaiian name nohu is also the name for a land plant Tribulus terrestris, or puncture vine. The spiny seeds of Tribulus - sharp and long enough to puncture your foot when stepped on, even through a thin-soled shoe - are similar to the poisonous dorsal and pectoral spines of the scorpionfish that can deliver an excruciating sting.

Click Here for more information (you will be directed to a non-NOAA website).

Click Here for more information on Tribulus terrestris (you will be directed to a non-NOAA website).