The lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific oceanic region, and is one of the most venomous fish on the ocean floor.
They have venomous dorsal spines that are used purely for defense. When threatened, the fish often faces its attacker in an upside down posture which raises the spines for protection.
This weeks Photo of the Week (POTW) is a Volitans lionfish (Pterois Volitans) . Other common names include Black Lionfish, Turkey fish or Red Firefish.
A lionfish’s sting is usually not fatal to humans, but if envenomed, the person will experience extreme pain, and possibly headaches, vomiting and breathing difficulties.
Lionfish are voracious predators, and when hunting they corner prey using their large fins and then use their quick reflexes to swallow the prey whole.
The Caribbean is currently suffering an invasion of lionfish, which are decimating the coral-reef fish population, in some cases by up to 80%. Eradication appears almost impossible. Even limited control is extremely difficult, with the best available plan to capture and eat them. With a new three year, $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, scientists from Oregon State University are urgently trying to address the looming crisis.
We managed to get several images of different lionfish that were hanging out together as a group in a small coral alcove on Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef.
These photos are part of my Great Barrier Reef Images project , and were shot using a Canon Powershot G12 and the internal flash supplemented with a Ikelite V8-Pro LED Video Lite, while diving on Quicksilver’s Silversonic in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia.
Read more about this species:-
- Lionfish Spread in the Caribbean: “A Looming Crisis” – Coral Magazine
- The invasive red lionfish, Pterois volitans (Linnaeus 1758), in the southwestern Caribbean Sea – Aquatic Invasions
- Lionfish – Wikipedia