Long spined sea scorpion

Long spined sea scorpion by Polly Whyte

Long spined sea scorpion

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Scientific name: Taurulus bubalis
Masters of disguise, this species exhibits one of the best examples of camouflage you will find on the seashore!

Top facts


Up to 20cm long

Conservation status


When to see

April to October


This colourful fish gets its name from the long spines attached to various parts of its body. This fish has amazing mottled colouration and can change its colouration to blend in perfectly with its background. A top predator it gulps up crabs and fish with its huge mouth. However it may also find itself prey for cuttlefish!

What to look for

Long spined sea scorpion has a large, bulbous head with a distinctive small barbel in each corner of the mouth. The body tapers down towards the tail, with large pectoral fins which sit behind the head. Colouration is usually mottled with pink, red and sandy blotches. This this species can adapt and blend in perfectly with the surrounding algae and encrusting organisms.

Where to find

Common around the UK and the North East Atlantic

Did you know?

Unlike the Mediterranean scorpion fish, this species is not venomous.