The Stonefish is another of Australia's deadly marine creatures and considered to be the most venomous fish in the world.
As the name suggests, Stonefish can be superbly camouflaged, often looking like an encrusted rock or lump of coral.
While searching for their prey, Stonefish remain still giving the appearance of a rock. This not only helps them to hide from predators, but allows the Stonefish to surprise its prey.
When a Stonefish feels threatened or disturbed, it erects 13 poisonous dorsal fin spines as a defence, but remains motionless. The Stonefish’s toxin is released from the spines when pressure is placed on them, for example when a larger fish attacks or a diver steps on them. This venom can be fatal to humans and in some cases has resulted in death.
Did you know?
The venom of a stonefish can kill a human in two hours.
Stonefish Fast Facts:
- Common Name: Stonefish
- Scientific Name: Synanceia verrucosa
- Habitat: Coral reefs or dormant in the mud or sand
- Diet: Small fish
- Size: Up to 35cm
- Range: The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, to far northern New South Wales.
- Threats: Sharks and rays
- Conservation Status: Not assessed