The leaf scorpionfish (Taenianotus triacanthus) is a species of marine fish, the sole member of its genus.
Short description - Dorsal spines (total): 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8-11; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 5 - 6. Tan to reddish or brown in color (Ref. 4313). Has prickly papillae instead of scales. Dorsal fin high, 3rd or 4th spine longest; suborbital ridge without spines or with lump at head of ridge; preopercle with 2 indistinct spines only; body extremely compressed; soft dorsal fin attached to the caudal fin; coloration is variable, from nearly all yellow to red, brown or nearly black and variously mottled with darker pigment.
Leaf scorpionfish habitat
Taenianotus triacanthus inhabits coral reefs and rocks in sublittoral and intertidal habitats with strong wave action. It occurs at depths of 1 to 135 m. Max length recorded is 7.9 cm; possibly 10 cm TL (Randall 2005). It sways with the current to mimic its surroundings. Taenianotus triacanthus feeds on crustaceans and fishes; also feeds on larvae (Allen and Erdmann 2012). This species molts, shedding its skin in a nearly single piece (almost like a snake) (H. Motomura pers. comm. 2015).
There have been no confirmed population declines. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs, we suspect it may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss in parts of its range. However, it is also found on rocky reefs, and significant global population declines are not suspected. As of 2008, 15% of the world's coral reefs were considered under imminent threat of being "Effectively Lost" (with 90% of the corals lost and unlikely to recover soon), with regions in East Africa, South and South-east Asia, and the wider Caribbean being the most highly threatened (Wilkinson et al. 2008). Of 704 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species which were assessed by using the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction (Carpenter et al. 2008).