Where in the world?
Naturally found in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, but has taken over various waters as an invasive species due to illegal release of pet fish into foreign environments such as the Florida coast.
Lionfish are fearsome predators which eat mainly fish and invertebrates. They corner their prey with their large fins and swallow it whole.
The dorsal spines of lionfish are sharp, puncturing devices that also deliver venom. This nasty combination protects these fish from predators. The venom is not usually fatal to humans, though it is extremely painful.
These lionfish live approximately 10 years, and may reach over 15 inches including their tail, making them one of the largest species of lionfish.
Did you know?
Volitan Lionfish have become invasive in the Atlantic Ocean. These fish cause a significant reduction in biodiversity because they eat smaller or young fish and outcompete other predators. In areas where they are invasive, their native predators aren’t around to keep them in check.