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Hawaiian Turkeyfish

nohu pinao

The Hawaiian turkeyfish (also known as Hawaiian lionfish) is a member of the scorpionfish family and can grow up to 8 inches long. There are roughly 25 species of scorpionfish that inhabit Hawaiian waters, and the Hawaiian turkeyfish is the only endemic species within the scorpionfish family.

The Hawaiian turkeyfish is found at depths of 9 to 400 feet and are occasionally spotted by a lucky daytime diver swimming in open waters during late afternoons or early mornings. These fish are nocturnal hunters who prey on crustaceans and small fish. As skilled ambush predators, they corner prey with their large fins and have a lightning-fast gulp reflex, much like the frogfish. During the day, this fish stays in caves under ledges, often upside down. Due to their venomous spines, it is never recommended to reach into underwater crevices or caves as one of these animals may be lurking in the area.

*Due to the constant rotation of animals back to the ocean, we cannot guarantee the presence of any specific animal.

Did You Know...
Hawaiian turkeyfish is a dramatic reddish-brown specimen with vertical white stripes, a long single dorsal spine, and extended spines on the pectoral fins. Its spines are venomous and can deliver a painful sting.
Hawaiian Name:
nohu pinao
Scientific Name:
Pterois sphex
Where to Find:
Shallow Reef *
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