Bearded Scorpion Fish Koh Tao
Learn about the Bearded Scorpion Fish on Koh Tao
Bearded Scorpion Fish are one of the most difficult fish to see on Koh Tao due to their amazing skills to camouflage themselves.
Where to find the Bearded Scorpion Fish on Koh Tao
The Bearded Scorpion Fish can be seen at many dive sites around Koh Tao if you know what you are looking for and the most common locations are HTMS Sattakut, Japanese Gardens and White Rock dive sites.
Hin Pee Wee is the easiest place and they can be seen on top of the pinnacle to the west side and you will often see scuba divers circling around trying to find them.
How to identify the Bearded Scorpion Fish
Other than looking for a rock with two eyes, here are some of the more tell-tale signs you need to look out for to find them.
Bearded Scorpion Fish belong to the same marine life order as Stonefish (Scorpaeniformes) and they both have an amazing ability to camouflage themselves.
The body of a Bearded Scorpion Fish is covered in featherlike fins and spiky flaps of skin especially around their face, which gives them what looks like a spiky beard.
Bearded Scorpion Fish range in color from a dull mottled yellow or brown with some having more of a vibrant red or pink colour around the fins.
It is unknown whether the Bearded Scorpion Fish has the ability to change its colour over time to their surroundings or if they have the ability to notice certain shades of colour.
Either way they are excellent at disguising themselves and adapting to the natural surroundings and it makes them almost impossible to be seen by their prey.
Bearded Scorpion Fish Characteristics & Behaviour
Bearded Scorpion Fish have spines that are packed with dangerous venom and if they manage to puncture the flesh of prey, the venom is injected into their body and can be fatal or it can be extremely painful to humans.
They are very rarely seen moving around and are known as ambush predators.
Rather than swim around wasting energy, they patiently wait for their food to come within striking distance of them.
This is often at night time as during daylight hours they rest and watch scuba divers swimming past trying to see them.
Their diet consists of many types of smaller fish and crustaceans and they use their huge mouth to cause a powerful suction and swallow their food hole.
They will also use their toxic venom to stun larger prey to eat rather than just for defence purposes.
As you would expect they do not have a lot of natural predators however, Sharks, Rays and large Snappers or Groupers are believed to be on that list.
Interesting facts about the Bearded Scorpion Fish
A female Bearded Scorpion Fish can release up to 1500 eggs at one time and the eggs are released at the surface and carried by the ocean current for just two days before hatching.
The largest Bearded Scorpion Fish seen was nearly fifty centimetres in length and the deepest one was 800 metres.