Common Names: Lionfish, zebra fish, fire fish,
Turkey fish and many more
Family: Scorpaenidae (fire fishes, goblin fishes,
Rockfishes and scorpion fishes)
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, Japan and southern Korea and the east coast of Australia and some part of New Zealand. In Costa Rica alone where there is abundance in marine ecosystem, lionfish are mostly seen in the western end of Playa Chino Reef to the eastern side of Salsa Brava.
Size: 11.8 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) the largest species of lionfish can grow up to 0.4 meters, or 15 inches, in length, although on an average their length is about 0.3 meters, or 1 foot. An adult lionfish can gain weigh up to 1.2 kg, or 2.6 lbs.
Weight: It is weighing Up to 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg)
Diet: The Lionfish are carnivore; it feeds mainly on crabs, fish and shrimp. It waits for their meal to come by, and when they come near to them, they just swallow them up whole.
Average life span: The average lifespan of the Lionfish is up to 15 years in the wild on an average.
Habitat: Lionfish are found in mostly all marine habitat types found in warm marine waters of the tropics. Lionfish have been found in water depths from 1 to 1000 feet on hard bottom, mangrove, sea grass, coral, and artificial reefs (like shipwrecks).
Breeding/Reproduction: The group usually contains a lion fish, lion fish and several male and female lion fish, lion fish mating male. The male lion fish is highly territorial and protective of his territory quite intense. Lion fish to reproduce the explosion. Population health and growth of the lion fish in its natural habitat is a fact. Scientists believe that they lay 30,000 eggs every seven days.
Lionfish or Pterois is a species of venomous fish in the family of Scorpaenidae in the order of Scorpaeniformes. In other places they are known as Turkey Fish, Dragon Fish and Scorpion Fish. These types of fish are famous for their flashy colors as well as poisonous spines and uncommon tentacles. They mostly are endemic in reef regions of the tropical and temperate waters of the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. In Costa Rica alone where there is abundance in marine ecosystem, lionfish are mostly seen in the western end of Playa Chino Reef to the eastern side of Salsa Brava.
One of the physical attributes of a lionfish is their color which is red, black and white stripes. They have flashy fins within its breast area and sharp fin rays. The body of these type of species measures up to 42 centimeters in length and mostly weighs 480 grams. They have these uncommon tentacles near their eyes which help them lure their prey or some scientist stated it helps them in finding for mate. Pterois’ diet includes tiny fish, mollusks and invertebrates. They are known to be active in feeding during the day. Most of their hunting for food starts from morning till noon. On the afternoon, they usually just eat much lesser.
Many are afraid of the lionfish because of the poisonous spines that can create problems to one’s body. As for humans, this venom can cause fever, heavy sweating, vomiting and some were reported lethal depending on how the body reacts to its venom. These species are definitely mean and territorial to other marine life in the reef as well as divers that they came across in the water.
A lionfish’s mouth is big enough to swallow up almost animal with their bodies. This fish does not rely on camouflage to hide its natural enemies. Instead, they, with their bright colors and unique pattern to remind them of their hunger, predators, they are toxic.
Lion fishes feed on other minor fishes, but it may also eat their own kind, presenting cannibalism (when it occurs, there is little prey for food). Lion fish during the day to stay in the rock outcrop, but at sunset they leave their hiding place to find, such as fish, crabs and shrimp prey.
Lion fish are cold-blooded; they do not migrate from one place to another. Lionfish are a popular marine ornamental fish and were possibly intentionally released into the Atlantic.
Unlike other marine life that is decreasing in population, lionfish is the exact opposite. Their females can release as much as fifteen thousand eggs in clusters. These make them establish their numbers successfully in the oceans. And let’s add the fact that these fishes usually have a life span of five to fifteen years. They also have small numbers of predators because of their venomous and spiky fins like moray eels, blue spotted cornet fish, and even big groupers. Sharks also sometimes prey on them since they can withstand its spine but still they do not mostly fancy eating them. With this said, marine life are threatened with their increasing numbers since they are vicious predators but they are of a lesser prey. Humans and international associations tend to find ways to control their population. Some organizes hunting campaign to neutralize its increasing numbers. Some educate people about how to eat and how to cook and fillet them since almost all are cautious on eating them because of their venom.