Tag Archive: lionfishes

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes and Their Allies)

Genus/species: Pterois volitans

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  The Red Lionfish has a compressed body with a large head from 1/3 to 1/2 the standard length. Greatly enlarged pectoral fins and elongate dorsal fins. Vertically colored brownish bars interspersed with fine white lines. Two visually identical species have been introduced into the north-west Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico making positive identification only by genetic analysis.

Length to 38 cm (54 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: P. volitans occurs throughout most of Oceania being native to the western Pacific Ocean and introduced to the Atlantic possibly through the aquarium trade. Inhabits coral reefs and lagoons, turbid inshore areas to depths to 50 m (160 ft). 

DIET IN THE WILD: A voracious nocturnal predator of small fishes, shrimp and crabs. Corners and traps prey with its widespread pectoral fins.


PREDATORS: Other than cannibalism, there are few documented natural predators of the lionfish  Native groupers in the Bahamas consume them. Finally despite their venomous spines, lionfish are caught by humans for food. 

LIFESPAN 10 years


REMARKS: Venomous glands at the base of dorsal, anal and pelvic fin spines are capable of inflicting severe and painful wounds. The venom contains a neurotoxin which reduces the transmission chemical signals to the muscles, as well as affecting the cardiovascular system. Doctors suggest soaking the afflicted area in very hot water to denature the venom’s proteins. Experimental evidence suggests that commercial stonefish antivenom does have some detoxifying effect on lionfish venom.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Caribbean Reef 2018

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-SQ

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608341866427/with/8355039924/

Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Pterois_volitans/

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=5195&lang=Swedish


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes)

Genus/species: Dendrochirus brachypterus


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body reddish with vague broad bars, paired fins with bars and median fins with small dark spots. Mid-dorsal spines shorter than body depth. Males have larger heads than females and their pectoral fins are longer, extending back to the middle of their caudal peduncle, while the female’s pectoral fins may only reach as far as the base of the caudal peduncle. Max. length to 7 inches.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific in mature reefs consisting of large aggregations of Acropora and other stony reef-building corals.

DIET IN THE WILD: Most active during dawn and dusk while feeding on small crustaceans.

REMARKS: Dorsal spines are venomous and the stings are similar to a bad wasp or bee sting. Treatment is to soak the affected area in hot water to denature the poison and call a physician.
Most active during dawn and dusk searching for food.


Locomotion Cluster, Water Planet


flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608341866427/

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-OF

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