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(scorpion fishes), a family of fishes of the order Scorpaeniformes, which a number of ichthyologists include in the order Perciformes. The body reaches a length of 90 cm; the weight is usually 1.5–2 kg. The large head is armed with thorns. There are spiny rays in the fins. At the bases of the rays of the dorsal fin are glands that elaborate a poisonous secretion.
There are more than 70 genera, distributed in seas of the torrid and temperate zones. Four genera, embracing 13 species, are found in the seas of the USSR, for example in the Barents Sea, the Black Sea, and the seas of the Far East. Common in the USSR are species of the genera Scorpaena and Sebastes. Scorpion fishes stay on rocky bottoms. Some species are viviparous. The fishes are predators that feed on other fishes and on crustaceans. Scorpion fishes have great commercial value; they are caught by trawling nets.
REFERENCESAndriiashev, A. P. Ryby severnykh morei SSSR. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.
Nikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Lindberg, G. U. Opredelitel’ i kharakteristika semeistv ryb mirovoi fauny. Leningrad, 1971.