(Synanceia verrucosa)

Synanceia verrucosa, commonly known as the reef stonefish, is a species of venomous fish belonging to the family Synanceiidae. Here are some key characteristics and information about Synanceia verrucosa:

  1. Appearance: The reef stonefish has a mottled appearance with a rough, wart-like skin texture that helps it blend into its reef environment. It typically ranges in color from brown to gray, often with darker patches or bands. It has a large mouth and small eyes positioned towards the top of its flattened body.
  2. Size: It can grow up to about 35-40 cm (14-16 inches) in length, making it one of the largest stonefish species.
  3. Distribution: This species is found in the shallow coastal waters of the tropical Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean islands, and throughout Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Pacific islands. It inhabits coral reefs, rocky areas, and sometimes sandy bottoms.
  4. Habitat: Reef stonefish are bottom-dwelling fish that are well-camouflaged among rocks, coral rubble, and algae. They are typically found in shallow waters up to about 40 meters (130 feet) deep, where they can lie motionless and ambush prey.
  5. Behavior: Stonefish are highly venomous and have thirteen sharp dorsal spines along their back that are capable of delivering a potent venom. They use their venomous spines for defense and as a predatory mechanism, waiting for unsuspecting prey to approach before striking rapidly.
  6. Venom: The venom of Synanceia verrucosa is powerful and can cause intense pain, swelling, tissue necrosis, and potentially serious systemic effects in humans if stung. Immediate medical attention is required in case of a sting.