Stonefish, a tropical marine fish that lives in shallow water. Its drab brown color and rough, warty skin help it to blend in with the mud flats and coral reefs where it is found. The back is covered by a series of venomous spines. A person stepping on these spines experiences extreme pain in the foot and lower leg, both of which may become permanently paralyzed. In some cases, the leg must be amputated. In other cases, the victim may lose consciousness and eventually die of heart or lung failure. The stonefish is found off the coasts of India, Australia, and China. It grows to a length of about two feet (60 cm). The devilfish, a related species, is found off the coast of Africa. It grows to one foot (30 cm) long and is distinguished by scarlet markings.
The stonefish is Synanceia horrida; devilfish, S. verrucosa. Both belong to the family Scorpaenidae.