Taxonomy [Synanceia] [Phylum: Chordata] [Class: Actinopterygii] [Family: Synanceiidae]
The stonefish is one of the top death-dealing fish on the planet.
They are found in Indo-Pacific coastal regions and selected areas around the Caribbean.
The highly venomous Synanceia members are almost exclusively marine species who produce overpowering neurotoxins.
The spines become vertically erect if the fish is threatened and the venom is promptly discharged from the base of the dorsal fin needles.
Stonefish's informal name is based on its strong resemblance to the stones of its natural surroundings camouflaging itself incredibly well with mottled grey rocks.
Although scuba divers are usually aware of appropriate responses to sightings of stonefish, snorkelers and especially swimmers are more likely to trigger a painful sting. In fact the quantity of venom injected is commensurate to the pressure inflicted on the fish.