© Johan Boshoff

Common family name



Pigfish, Racehorses

Scientific name



On average horsefish measure 35 cm, but can be up to 75 cm in length.


The body of the horsefish is flattened from either side. Their snouts are very distinct, the head being concave in shape from the top to the tip of the snout. They have no scales and vary in colour from white to beige, brown and black with irregular spots.

General Info

Horsefish form a part of the Congiopodidae family which comprises of four genera and nine species, and falls under the order of the Scorpaeniformes, or scorpionfish. They are bottom feeders and can be found where there is seaweed, up to 500m deep. They camouflage very well, and certain species have been reported to molt like reptiles. They are pelagic spawners.


Horsefish feed on small invertebrates.


They can be found in the temperate waters of the southern hemisphere.

Common Species

Spinenose horsefish - Congiodopus spinifer
Smooth horsefish - Congiopodus torvus

© Johan Boshoff