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Razorfishes Scorpionfish & Lionfish

The waspfishes are a family of small fish related to the scorpionfishes, and as their name suggests they are often venomous, having poison glands on their spines.

Similar to stonefish, waspfish have razor sharp, mobile bone in their cheeks, which can be quickly extended like a switch-blade and is known as a 'lachrymal saber'. The head actually has many ridges and spines.

Usually well camouflaged, these ambush predators seek safe haven hiding spots on the seabed.

1 species found on this page.

Cockatoo Waspfish

Ablabys taenianotus

Cockatoo waspfish are strongly compressed (flat) fish growing up to 15 cm in length. The dorsal fin starts on top of the head, in front of the eyes and continues to the tail fin. The dorsal fin spines are venomous, and when spread, the dorsal fin resembles the crest on a cockatoo.

Cockatoo Waspfish (Ablabys taenianotus) @ Koh Haa

Ablabys taenianotus @ Koh Haa

This species normally lives on the seabed and drifts with the currents, sometimes rocking back and forth with the surge. This drifting behaviour mimics a dead leaf and allows the waspfish to ambush its prey, typically small crustaceans.

Cockatoo Waspfish (Ablabys taenianotus) @ Koh Haa

Cockatoo Waspfish drifting @ Koh Haa

Cockatoo waspfish use their pectoral fins for movement on the sea bed, and the color varies from cream to dark brown, with irregular spots, or black.

Diving with Waspfishes

Spot Waspfishes on one of our daily Koh Lanta diving trips. Or if you prefer to keep your adventure on the surface, you can also book one of our Koh Lanta snorkeling trips.

Join our speedboat dive trips to some of Koh Lanta's best dive sites and enjoy small groups, great personal service and short journey times on our fast boats.

Not yet a diver? Discover a whole new world with Discover Scuba Diving on Koh Lanta, or get certified with the Open Water Diver course on Koh Lanta.

If you're already a certified diver, take your diving knowledge and skills to the next level with the Advanced Open Water Diver course on Lanta.

Book online to save 10% on diving trips and scuba courses here on Koh Lanta.

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More Marine Life References and Further Information


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