Scientific name: Synancejidae
Natural spread:Red Sea,Indian and quiet Ocean[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Stone-fish often is confused with this close to relatives dragon-heads. they live in the flat coast-waters of the red sea, the Indian and the silence of ocean. The penetrated shape seems extremely clumsy through the mighty head, the big, wide flippers and the long back-fin beginning shortly behind the eyes. The diagonally upward pointing mouth-columns and the eyes frog-nicely mounting at the upper side of the head point out the ground-life. Stone-fish often always lurk individually buried into the sandy or muddy ground between stones, seaweeds and algae, on loot-animals. The warty skin and this dun melierte color with lighter and darker unclear stains and strips makes it almost invisible.
Virulence Stone-fish are regarded as the "most poisonous fish of the world." This in glands at the reason of the back-fin-thorns produced, poison is very similar for the snake-poison of the cobras, should be even stronger, however. It causes nerve-paralyses with water-formation under the skin, perishing of the tissue at the stab wound, breathing difficulty and often heart-halt. Some cases with deadly exit are known, particularly, if bathers stepped on the well camouflaged fish or divers touched it inadvertently. In Australia, an antidote, that can be lifesaving at timely injection, was therefore developed. It is irresponsible if stone-fish reach into the zoo-specialized stores and then land in room-aquariums.
Types Beside the ordinary stone-fish (Synanceja verrucosa, until 30 cm), who is to be seen in show-aquariums occasionally, the telescope-eye-stone-fish (Inimicus filamentosus) long until 18 cm and the overgrown stone (Minous inermis) still are noteworthy. Almost always carries a Hydroidpolypen (Hydrozoen) of the type Stylactis. more final beside an Algenbewuchs frequent with all stone-fish at the head This is the most venomous fish known.
It reaches up to 35 cm in length and lives in the Indo-Pacific region and northern Australian waters, from Brisbane to 600 km north of Perth. Stonefish may be found from exposed sand and mud in tidal inlets to depths of 40 m. Lying on the sea bed, it is perfectly camouflaged and looks exactly like an encrusted rock. It feeds on small fish and shrimps. When they swim by, the stonefish opens its mouth with lightning speed and gulps them down. The whole attack lasts for just 0,015 seconds.
Because the stonefish is vulnerable to attacks by bottom-feeding sharks and rays, it has found a way to defend itself- there is a row of 13 venomous spines along its back. In fact, the victim is the one who injures oneself. The stonefish is only dangerous if stepped on or caught. The thirteen dorsal spines project from venom glands along the back and venom is involuntarily expelled when pressure is exercised upon them. Then, a few weeks pass before the glands regenerate and recharge.
The sting causes excruciating pain and a tremendous swelling rapidly develops with death of tissues. The severity of the symptoms depends on the depth of penetration and the number of spines involved. The effects of the venom are muscle weakness, temporary paralysis and shock, which may result in death if not treated. Fatalities are known in the Indo-Pacific region but not in Australian waters.
One can prevent oneself from stonefish injury by wearing thick-soled shoes and treading very lightly- spines can piece through a shoe! First Aid
At the beginning immersing the stung area into hot water may be effective, but hospitalization for intravenous narcotic analgesia, local anaesthetic infiltration or regional block may be required. Definitive management consists of administration of stonefish antivenom usually given intramuscularly. Antivenom is administered if:
-the victim suffers from severe pain
-systematic symptoms like weakness and paralysis are observed
-there are multiple punctures, which indicate the discharge of several spines. This means that larger amount of venom has been injected.