CHIMPANZEES COMING THIS MAY

Lionfish
Oceans

Red Lionfish

Pterois volitans

About

Lionfish are called many different names, including butterfly cod to turkeyfish. Whatever you call them, they’re a stealthy predator! Their flamboyant striped bodies can change from dark to light at different times of day or in different habitats for camouflage, or for a vibrant courtship display. They use their fins to sweep prey out of hiding—and swallow them in one gulp! Lionfish avoid being eaten or defend their territory with dozens of poisonous spines on their body.

Lionfish are active by night (nocturnal) and rest in crevices during the day. Females lay thousands of eggs that are fertilized by males through spawning. The eggs hatch into larvae, which mature into adults in about a month. Lionfish can live up to 10 years or more.

 

Size
15 inches long and 3 pounds in weight
Live in
Indo-Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico
Food
Crustaceans, fish
IUCN Red List Status
Least Concern
Lionfish front view

Conservation

Lionfish are thriving and face no major threats. They have been introduced to some new habitats such as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and have become invasive there, threatening the well-being of native species. Other marine species face threats from overfishing. You can help protect ocean wildlife by choosing sustainable seafood. The Seafood Watch program can teach you how!

WHERE ARE THEY AT THE ZOO?