Lionfish

Lionfish

Lionfish
Pterois volitans


CLASS
Osteichthyes
ORDER
Scorpaeniformes
FAMILY
Scorpaenidae

Range

Native to the South Pacific and Indian Oceans; an invasive species in the coastal waters of the U.S. Southeast and the Caribbean


Habitat

Tropical reefs, rocky cliffs and crevices in marine environments


Diet

Variety of fish, shrimp, and crabs - just about anything they can fit into their mouths

Weight

2.4 - 2.6 lbs.

Size

Up to 15 in.

IUCN Status

Not Listed

Facts

  • Lionfish are nocturnal predators, actively feeding at night.
  • The distinctive appearance is a warning to potential predators that the lionfish's grooved spines are equipped with venom which can cripple a predator and even kill a human.
  • The venom of the lionfish may be potent even after the fish is dead so care must be taken in handling dead fish.
  • When threatened, the lionfish will arch its back, point its dorsal spines at the aggressor, and swim forward rapidly in order to inflict a sting.
  • The large pectoral fins act as a barrier to corral its prey against the reef or to flush out crustaceans.

 

Invasive Species

Without any natural predators in the coastal waters of the U.S. Southeast and the Caribbean, the lionfish are thriving. This is putting indigenous marine species at risk, as well as recreational and commercial divers and anglers who come in contact with the fish.

They are relentless predators that feed on economically and recreationally important reef fish and algae-eating species that keep reefs clean and healthy.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP?
Never release aquarium fish into the wild.

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Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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