Fish Spot: Lionfish

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Common Name: Lion fish

Scientific NamePterois Antennata

 

Where to spot them here: The lion fish was not a fish originally found in the caribbean.  It is unclear how they have been able to established themselves but one theory is that aquarium released specimens has started to propagate in the warm waters. They are aggressive and seem to have no native predator here and sadly can be found in abundance on all sites particularly in Tortugas where they hide in the large barrel sponges.

 

How to identify them: This is actually quite a pretty fish being zebra striped with long tentacle like fins which fan out on all sides when alarmed, much like a lion’s mane. They are a variety of sizes and juveniles are quite well camouflaged on the reef, so watch where your hands are!

What you may not know about them: Lion fish have venomous spines on the end of their fins that can produce painful and potentially life threatening puncture wounds. The only treatment for the sting is to immerse the affected body part in boiling hot water for many hours. The venom in the spines remains active for days, so even dead fish should be treated with caution.

 

These limited edition pointillist Lionfish prints, signed by the artist are available in the shop now!

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