Military Turkeyfish


Name: Military Turkeyfish

Local name: Dyayatalbahr

Scientific name: Pterois miles

Classification: Class: ray-finned fishes; Order: scorpionfishes; Family: scorpionfishes (Scorpaenidae)

Synonym: Pterois volitans

Size: The maximum total length is about 35 cm.


The Military Turkeyfish may be found in rocky and coral areas, but also over seagrass or sand patches in the vicinity of hard substrates, from very shallow water to depths greater than 30 m. It is mainly nocturnal and may hide in crevices during daytime. It feeds on fish and crustaceans and has few predators, because of its venomous spines, which may cause very painful wounds.


It is widespread in the Indian Ocean, from the Red Sea and eastern Africa to Indonesia.

Conservation status:

It has not yet been assessed globally by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In a recent regional assessment for the Arabian Gulf it was classified as Least Concern (LC). It is not targeted in fisheries, but is a popular aquarium fish.


This is a very conspicuous species, which is characterized by long dorsal spines, the longest ones clearly longer than the depth of the body, each with a membrane to tip but isolated from other spines except at the fin base. Pectoral-fin rays are greatly elongate, reaching beyond the posterior end of the anal-fin base. Coloration is variable: there are numerous red to black bars of varying width on the head and body, which are broader than the pale interspaces. Soft rays of median fins are covered with small dark spots; dorsal spines and membranes have dark red horizontal bands