Pterois Volitans - Volitan Lionfish

Family - Scorpaenidae

Order - Scorpaeniformes

Length - 4 to 20 inches

Recognition - White body with dark red vertical stripes. The fins of this species are massive, with a feathered appearance.

Habitat - Tropical saltwater

Behavior - Carnivore

Residency - Pacific and Indian Oceans

Life Span - Up to 20 years in captivity

Of Special Note - The volitan lionfish is extremely poisonous and can kill humans if they ingest its venom. The lionfish protects itself from predators with sharp spines in its dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins. When a predator is stabbed with one of these spines, venom flows into the wound. Since the fish is dangerous to humans, it is not recommended that it be handled. Despite the threat, the fish remains popular in expensive marine aquariums.

The species is nocturnal and will usually only hunt at nighttime. If it is placed in an aquarium with other creatures, it will probably eat any invertebrates and smaller fish. It is recommended that only one lionfish be kept in a given tank since they can attack each other over territory. They should be given a tank of at least 60 gallons to live in.

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