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Florida Manatee & Aquatic Center Animal Fact Sheet
LIONFISH
Pterois volitans

Range:
The South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The range of the lionfish covers a very large area from western Australia and Malaysia east to French Polynesia and the United Kingdom's Pitcairn Islands, north to southern Japan and southern Korea and south to Lord Howe Island

The venom of the lionfish, delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins, is purely defensive. It relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture prey, mainly fish and shrimp. A sting from a lionfish is extremely painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but is rarely fatal.

Lionfish are popular in some parts of the world as food, but are far more prized in the aquarium trade.

 




Habitat: mangrove, seagrass , coral Reefs and shallow bays
Diet: Carnivore: Small fish, shrimps, crabs.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult:

Length: 11.8 to 15 in (30 to 38 cm)
Weight: Up to 2.6 lbs

Lifespan: Up to 15 years.
Reproduction & Offspring:

Most marine fishes, including lionfish, are external spawners. The male expels sperm immediately after the female releases her eggs and the eggs are fertilized as they float in the water. These eggs and the newly hatched larvae drift in ocean currents for 25 to 40 days. Once the hatchlings are large enough to swim, they leave the currents to hide among corals and rocks. It probably takes 1 or 2 years for these hatchlings to reach breeding age.


 

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