Rachel Bicker's picture

Long-spined bullhead/sea scorpion?

Observed: 1st November 2013 By: Rachel BickerRachel Bicker’s reputation in FishRachel Bicker’s reputation in Fish
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nightfly's picture

Hi Rachel, I think there can

Hi Rachel,

I think there can be little doubt its Tb going by the long spines. The diagnostic lip barbel is often difficult to see on the fish when its out of the water as here. It is readily visible when in the water as it stands out from the lip, its much easier to see on a darker backround, like in this one of Valerie's:-



nightfly's picture

BTW nice selection of pics

BTW nice selection of pics with varied angles, always helps to have a few shots. It pays to put in that extra effort with some species and this is one of them.


Rachel Bicker's picture


Cheers Cathal! Love taking macro shots with my little point n shoot camera. Also as i often try to do my idents once back in the comfort of my home, I try to do myself as many favours as i can, it means hours of sorting through pics tho! :-)

trudy-russell's picture


I agree with you and Cathal/Nightfly on the ID. It certainly looked like a Long-Spined Sea Scorpion from experience but to be sure I looked in three three different guidebooks. The long gill spine (longer than the diameter of the eye) is a good indication. According to Kay and Dipper's A Field Guide to the Marine Fishes of Wales and adjacent waters there is a similar species (but smaller) called the Norway Bullhead (Micrenophrys lilljeborgii) but the mouth barbels (not seen in these photos) are smaller in this species. Very good photos that made the ID easy - long may you take lots of macro shots with your camera!

Trudy Russell
Marine Advisor
Natural England

To find out about what's going on in the south west check out http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8409

Rachel Bicker's picture

Marco fun

Ta for that Trudy! I'm getting by best I can with Collin's Field guide and cross references things with images online. I might invest in more marine books one day!