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Dendrochirus brachypterus  (Cuvier, 1829)

Dwarf lionfish
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Image of Dendrochirus brachypterus (Dwarf lionfish)
Dendrochirus brachypterus
Picture by Randall, J.E.


Australia country information

Common names: Dwarf lionfish, Short-spined butterfly-cod, Short-spined scorpionfish
Occurrence: native
Salinity: marine
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Found from North West Cape to Darwin (Ref. 5978). Also reported from Lord Howe Island (Ref. 75154). Also Ref. 1602, 90102.
National Checklist:
Country Information: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, J.R. Paxton and G.R. Allen, 2006
National Database:

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads) > Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes) > Pteroinae
Etymology: Dendrochirus: Greek, dendron = tree + Greek, cheir = hands; with tree like marks (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 80 m (Ref. 90102).   Tropical; 32°N - 32°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-West Pacific: India and Sri Lanka eastward to Tonga; south to Australia; north to Japan.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 17.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-10; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 5 - 6. Body reddish with vague broad bars; paired fins with bars; median fins with small dark spots (Ref. 4313). Mid-dorsal spines shorter than body depth (Ref. 37816).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Common in reef flats and shallow lagoons, in areas with weed-covered rocks on sandy substrates. Adults often found on sponges and juveniles are sometimes found in small aggregations on remote bommies with 10 or so individuals (Ref. 48635). Nocturnal. Feeds on small crustaceans (Ref. 37816).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Distinct pairing (Ref. 205). Females possess specialized ovarian structures including stalk-like ovigerous lamellae and secretory epithelia (Ref. 32832).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Eschmeyer, W.N., 1986. Scorpaenidae. p. 463-478. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 4313)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Venomous (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource |

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 24.4 - 29, mean 27.8 (based on 1188 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01122 (0.00599 - 0.02101), b=3.16 (2.99 - 3.33), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (32 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.