Animals / Fishes - All Types of Fish Species / Lionfish - Spiny-Venomed Colorful Reef Inhabitant

Lionfish - Spiny-Venomed Colorful Reef Inhabitant



This colorful and yet dangerous fish can be found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is known by several names such as turkey fish, dragon fish, and scorpion fish. Larger species can be about 15 inches (38 cm) in length. They thrive in shallow waters among reefs, coral and rocks. It is easily identified by its long fins which extend like a fan. Its brightly striped body lets predators and aggressors be warned that this pretty fish packs a punch.



fu manchu lionfish


Their spines are loaded with deadly poison which can produce serious side effects in sea creatures and human fisherman, divers or those who are just trying to clean their aquariums. Symptoms that the venom produces are nausea, and trouble breathing. The sting is rarely fatal. The venom is discharged when the it feels threatened and it can deliver up to 18 painful stings with its spines or tentacles.


lionfish face


The fish is being watched closely as its population is growing and expanding into new territories (possibly from lost pets) where it can wreck havoc on the ecosystems in the US and Caribbean. They are good hunters and prey on other sea delicacies like fish and shrimp, swallowing the prey whole. In Florida there have been contests to capture as many of them as possible and other ideas are being looked at to remedy their expansion. Although there are several species (over 20), the most common pet and invasive species is the red lionfish - Pterois volitans. The common lionfish looks very similar to the red but there are several others with very different colors and fin variations.

fuzzy dwarf lionfish


lionfish black


lionfish colorful


lionfish dirt


pterois antennata lionfish


pterois radiata clearfin tailbar lionfish eel


pterois radiata clearfin tailbar lionfish


spotfin lionfish


yellow dwarf lionfish


zebra dwarf lionfish




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