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Camouflaged leaf scorpionfish
Beautiful leaf scorpionfish swimming
The leaf fish is a master of masquerade.
It relies on its unusual shape (it is flattened from side to side) and its behaviour (it will rock from side-to-side or back and forth) to mimic a piece of plant material resting on the sea floor.
The leaf scorpionfish will often sit at the mouth of caves or crevices. If threatened, it can then duck into the nearby refuge.
They regularly occur in pairs. In most pairs, one individual is larger than the other, suggesting size related sexual differences (that is, one sex may get larger than the other).
The overall colouration of this species can be black, maroon, red, brown, tan, bright yellow or white, with dark or light mottling.
Their colour can change slightly as a result of shedding of the cuticle, which occurs quite frequently in this fish, or if they are moved from a light to darker background or vice-versa.
Have you ever seen one? How many different colours? Come and join us on our liveaboard or day trips to have a chance to see one of these weird and wonderful critters – for more information send us an email at info@mikumbadiving.com