Bray, D.J. 2017, Pterois volitans in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Jan 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2113
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Visit the Arkive site for images and videos of Common Lionfish.
The Common Lionfish is highly invasive in the Western Atlantic, and is having a devastating effect on reef fish populations and the corals themselves.
The fin spines a highly venomous and can inflict excruciatingly painful puncture wounds.
This striking scorpionfish is an active predator that stalks its prey with its pectoral fins outstretched.
A Lionfish, Pterois volitans, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales, December 2015. Source: Ian Shaw / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial
By severely reducing the population of herbivores, lionfishes in the Atlantic are also having a devastating affect on reefs which are being smothered by algae.
The species is a highly invasive voracious predator, preying on reef fishes unaccustomed to lionfishes.
The Common Lionfish has been introduced into the Western Atlantic, and is now well-established in a wide area from Cape Hatteras to Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico and the Carribean.
Most spines have venom glands at the base and operate like a hypodermic syringe. When the spine is depressed through contact, venom containing a neurotoxin is released into the puncture wound.
The Common Lionfish inhabits lagoons and seaward reefs, from shallow inshore waters to dpeths of almost 130 m in Australia.
Elsewhere, widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, to French Polynesia and the Line Islands, north to southern Japan, and south to northern New Zealand.
Known in Australian waters from about Rottnest Island (Western Australia) around the tropical north to southern New South Wales; also Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, reefs in the Coral Sea, the Lord Howe Island region and Norfolk Island.
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Lionfish: The Underwater Assassin That 'Vacuums Up' Fish
The coldblooded killers in Australia’s coastal waters are armed with jaws… harpoons… and gruesome spikes…But few are as flamboyant as the ‘Lionfish’ (Pterois). It’s named for its long flowing fins that resemble a lion’s mane. Beautiful… But deadly! The lionfish’s irregular outline helps to conceal its presence when viewed from a distance. But up close, its bright colors and bold markings serve as a vivid warning to wouldbe predators… Also known as ‘Devil Firefish’ and ‘ZebraFish’, Lionfish are armed with potent venom. Each long flowing dorsal spine is tipped with an extremely sharp point. Glands within these spines produce powerful neurotoxins. In humans, Lionfish envenomation can cause extreme pain, respiratory paralysis… And occasionally death. Their formidable toxins and vivid threat display have earned these fish healthy respect amongst the reef community…
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