Mar 22, 2008


Behold the ill-tempered and poisonous scorpionfish. I'm not sure which variety of scorpion fish this is (after all, the saltwater aquarium staple Lionfish is a scorpionfish), but the Germans call it the Grosserdrachenkopf, which I think (if my high school German classes still serve me) means Greater Dragonhead. If that is the case, then I am very much enamored with this fish, venom and all.

Any German speakers out there want to correct me? Rasmus (this is right up your alley, Mr. Ichthyologist)?

Thanks for the photo, Ida.

UPDATE: Rasmus has affirmed that my German skills remain (marginally) intact. Frau Fetzer would be so proud.

Photo source: Wikipedia


Rasmus said...

Just look into a mirror and speak my name five times, and I'll appear ;)

Anyways, your German is right on the spot, although there should be a period between 'Grosser' and 'Drachenkopf'.

Incidentally, the marvellous maintains a database on fish common names, among many other things. This is the entry for this particular species, the 'Largescaled scorpionfish' (Scorpaena scrofa):

There's even a stamp section:

Raging Wombat said...

I knew it, Rasmus. You are magical. Thanks for the links.

Helena said...

Actually, in English, "Gro├čer Drachenkopf" would be "Great dragonhead", not "greater".
Just saying :)

Wundervolle Seite, nur weiter so :)

Simone said...

Raging wombat, your german skills are indeed intact ;) Another german name for it is "Meersau" which can be translated as "sea sow" and it is actually an important component of the famous bouillabaisse and other mediterranean seafood dishes. I think he species is the great red dragonhead (Scorpaena scrofa), and although the poison can be lethal to humans when you get stung, it will become inactive if exposed to temperatures higher than 50°C (122°F), so at least eating it is not as a risky business as eating Fugu. (Sorry, that´s just the passionate cook in me speaking, although I´m aware that some´d rather admire it´s ugliness while it´s alive ;)

Raging Wombat said...

Well, I got close. But now I'm hungry.

JMorgan said...

Incidentally, the correct term for an animal with venom is "venomous". "Poisonous" only applies to animals whose bodies contain poison (such as blowfish). A quick rule of thumb is as follows: If you bite it and you die, it's poisonous; if it bites you and you die, it's venomous.

Just thought I'd mention that. ;)

Raging Wombat said...

Thanks, JMorgan. I had forgotten that distinction. I'll pay attention to that in the future.

Jack Ruttan said...

It's funny how "sea-anything" fish are usually crazy-ugly-looking. Sea Robins, etc.

This one looks like he's wearing Queen Anne's Lace (I just sort of made that up, but it sounds right) for a old-style miniature portrait.

Little Tart said...

I love how grumpy he is. Perhaps he is related to disaproving bunnies?