; subclass Actinopterygii, order Scorpaeniformes)
A small family of marine fish that have a relatively short, thickset body, and smooth skin covered with many wart-like projections. The large mouth is orientated obliquely and the small eyes are located near the top of the head. Using the large, paddle-shaped, pectoral fins, the stone fish can partially bury itself and await the arrival of unsuspecting prey. The strong, dorsal fin spines bear venom glands at their bases. (The sting of Synanceja trachynis (46 cm) has proved fatal to persons treading on the spines.) There are about 20 species, in the Indo-Pacific region.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.