This week in Lembongan… We have been spotting many leaf scorpionfish under the water on our north dive sites. The north coast of Pendia’s gentle slopping reefs, dressed in coral, provide a great place for these camouflaging creatures to hide out. On one dive in particular, 6 different leaf scorpionfish were spotted between Divemaster Yayan and instructor Bryce. The advance divers had the chance to go a little bit deeper and not long into the dive, at 25 meters, Bryce was able to spot one brown leaf scorpionfish resting on a sandy ledge. As he took the time to get his guest’s attention to show them the creature, Bryce spotted another one very close by, this 2nd one was coloured pink.
Yayan who was diving with a group of open water divers, spotted two different black leaf scorpionfish at the shower depth of 18 meters but towards the end of his dive Yayan also spotted two leaf scorpionfish together. Again one was brown but the 2nd smaller one was white.
After the dive, Bryce was excited to tell Yayan of his find of the brown and pink leaf scorpionfish only for Yayan to top it with his spotting of 4. The guests were all very happy with the find of these interesting creatures. With one guest saying that she loved seeing them underwater and was happy to see 2 together.
The leaf scorpionfish is about 10 cm (4 in) long. Their color varies from green, red, pink, brown, ocher and yellowish to a ghostly white. The fish is almost as flat as a leaf and resembles a leaf in many other ways. The head and mouth are large. The large dorsal fin starts just behind the eyes and has 12 spines and eight to 11 soft rays. The venom of the leaf scorpionfish is considerably weaker than that of the lionfish and stonefish. The skin often has blotches that enhance a camouflage effect.