Armed with up to 18 venomous spines, Lionfish can cruise the coral reefs with confidence making them a formidable and bold hunter.
When disturbed by a diver, the Lionfish often makes little effort to swim away. Instead, it points its dorsal fin spines towards the intruder.
The lionfish is natively found in coastal waters around rocky crevices and coral reefs where there are lots of smaller fish for the lionfish to eat and also places for the lionfish to hide.
In Australia, Lionfish are commonly found in South-western Western Australia, tropical northern Australia to the southern coast of New South Wales.
Lionfish are nocturnal hunters, feeding on small fish and shrimp in the early hours of the night. When the sun comes up, these flashy fish retreat to their shadowy homes among the coral and rocks.
Lionfish Fast Facts:
- Common Name: Lionfish
- Scientific Name: Pterois volitans
- Habitat: Warm coastal waters
- Diet: Small fish and shrimp
- Size: Up to 38cm
- Range: Western Australia coast, tropical northern Australia to the southern coast of New South Wales
- Threats: Sharks and habitat loss
- Conservation Status: Not assessed