Sea Scorpion, Short Spined

by David Proudfoot

Myoxocephalus scorpius

species ID short spined sea scorpion

Other Names

Sea Scorp, Father Lasher, Snotch, Cluggie, Bull-pout, Bullhead

Distinguishing features

This member of the sculpin family is one of the largest found in European waters. It has a large head and rounded body which tapers down to the tail fin. The mouth is very large for the size of the fish. It has two short spines on the anterior opercula bone and one larger one on the gill cover. The gill covers are connected on the underside by a fleshy membrane. There are also numerous small spines on either side of the lateral line. The colouration varies from red on the belly of the male to more orange on the female and there are several white spots. The back is generally a greenish brown with darker blotches.


The short spined sea scorpion can reach lengths of around 60 cm in northern waters and can reach weights of over 2 kilos.

British Record Fish List

UK Shore Record: 2lb 3oz 0dms / 0.992kg
UK Boat Record: 2lb 7oz 8dms / 1.119kg

species ID short spined sea scorpion gill covers


Found in cooler waters from the English Channel to inside the Arctic Circle. Can be found from the shoreline to depths of 60 metres and it is found over a mixture of different sea beds.


This species of sea scorpion feeds on small fish and crustaceans.


Worms, mussels and fish baits are effective for this species.

species ID short spined sea scorpion

Thanks to Daniel Young for the photo

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