Reef stonefish, Synanceia verrucosa (camouflage, predators, Poisonous venom) – video

This video was taken during June 2012 at the Sea World, California (USA)

Color and camouflage: The common color of stonefish is the mottled greenish to mostly dark brown color. They may have patches of yellow, orange or red color. This type of coloration enhances their ability to camouflage themselves among the rocks or many of the tropical reefs. Stonefish are extremely well camouflaged, looking like stones, rocks or lumps of coral. It may worth mentioning that the “stonefish” derives from their ability to camouflage itself similar to the color of a stone. Because their excellent camouflage and ability to blend with corals, they are easily overlooked by swimmers and divers.

Stonefish predators: Predators of the Reef Stonefish include sharks (tigers and white sharks) and rays.

Poisonous venom: The Reef Stonefish is known to be the most venomous fish in the world. Its dorsal fin has thirteen stout 13 spines that release extremely poisonous venom from two sacs attached to each spine. Its venom causes severe pain with possible shock, paralysis, and tissue death and it is believed to have killed many Pacific and Indian Ocean islanders especially if immediate medical attention was not available. The risk of venom toxicity increases for persons under the age of seven as well as for very old persons. The development and use of the antivenom has reduced the fatality due to the venom. Stonefish antivenom is the second-most administered in Australia.

Because of the excellent camouflage of stonefish, swimmers and divers may not notice them, and may inadvertently step on them, triggering a sting. When the stonefish is disturbed, it may inject an amount of venom proportional to the amount of pressure applied to it. Most stonefish stings occur when stepped on.

References: Wikipedia, Australian Museum, Life of sea,, Wakatobi Dive Resort,, Wakatobi Dive Resort


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