We had a really good year for Rhinopias and several individuals of the Weedy Rhinopias (Rhinopias frondosa) and the Paddleflap Rhinopias (Rhinopias Eschmeyri) could be seen here in Lembeh. So it was not a big suprise when we received whatsapp messages on the BOOT Show in Düsseldorf that our guides had found another Rhinopias while we were freezing in cold Germany. But it was a bit of a suprise when they couldn’t really tell us which kind of Rhinopias it was. Not even if it really was one.
Having checked we can now answer the question “Is it a Rhinopias or not?”. The answer is no … and yes.
It seems to be a Hipposcorpaena filamentosa – a member of the Scorpionfish family that is the only member of his genus. And it also seems to be a Rhinopias filamentosus. We can find both online.
It has been first described as Hipposcorpaena filamentosa by Fowler in 1938 and confimed by Eschmeyr in 1973. But at the same time we can find both species registered if you look them up in the internet. Doesn’t really make sense.
We’ll keep checking and researching which one is official. But until then: It is a very cool fish that not only looks like a Rhinopias but also shares the same habitat and shows very similar behaviour.