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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Lionfish
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Lionfish

LionfishScientific name: Pterois volitans (Linnaeus)

Common names: Lionfish, lion fish, zebrafish, firefish, turkeyfish, red lionfish, butterfly cod, ornate butterfly-cod, peacock lionfish, red firefish, scorpion volitans

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Lionfish Invasion is Threatening the Atlantic Ocean (Oct 21, 2013)
UPI.com.
A native of the tropical waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, the lionfish is a venomous, fast-reproducing fish that has no known predators. Aggressive eaters that will eat almost anything, lionfish are capable of destroying 90 percent of a reef. The venomous fish is capable of producing 30,000 to 40,000 eggs every few days.

New NOAA Manual Gives Coastal Managers Tips for Combating Invasive Lionfish (Oct 18, 2012)
DOC. NOAA. National Ocean Service.
Scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and their partners have teamed up to create specific guidelines for coastal managers to control the spread of invasive lionfish. The new manual, Invasive Lionfish: A Guide to Control and Management, includes the best available science and practices for controlling lionfish in marine protected areas, national parks, and other conservation areas. By following suggestions in the publication, resource managers can develop effective local control plans.

REEF, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to Host Inaugural Lionfish Derbies (Aug 19, 2010)
Reef Environmental Education Foundation.
NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in partnership with Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), will host an inaugural series of three lionfish derbies starting in Sep 2010 and ending in Nov 2010. Divers who remove lionfish from sanctuary waters will be eligible for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. For more information on the derbies and to register online, visit REEF's Lionfish Research Program.

Filleting the Lion -- If we can't beat them, let's eat them!
DOC. NOAA. National Ocean Service.
The lionfish, a native of the Western Pacific Ocean, is a predator that is flourishing in coastal waters of the U.S. Southeast and the Caribbean. NOAA scientists researching the lionfish's spread and impact are encouraging a seafood market as a means of mitigating the species' impacts on reef communities. To promote awareness of the lionfish as food, scientists launched the "Eat Lionfish" Campaign (PDF | 109 KB) on Jun 11. NOAA has also created pull cards for the Eat Lionfish Campaign (PDF | 1.4 MB).

Native To: Western Pacific Ocean (Schofield et al. 2012)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1980s (Morris and Whitfield 2009)

Images: Google

Videos: Pterois volitans (or click Play button below)

Marine Ecology Expeditions - Lionfish, the ultimate invasive species (or click Play button below)

Means of Introduction: Aquarium trade (Morris and Whitfield 2009)

Impact: Preys on native species; has venomous spines (Morris and Whitfield 2009)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Management Plans: Aquatic Species / Lionfish

Selected Internet Resources:

Federal Government

Lionfish
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Controls

Pterois volitans
Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
Taxonomy

Biology, Ecology, Control and Management of the Invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish: An Updated Integrated Assessment (Dec 2009; PDF | 3.53 MB)
DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Taxonomy; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls

Lionfish
DOC. NOAA. Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Habitat; Distribution

Lionfish Discovered along the South Atlantic Coast: A Curiosity…or a Wake up Call?
DOC. NOAA. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Controls

Pterois volitans Article Citation Search - AGRICOLA Database
USDA. National Agricultural Library.
Research; Special Note: NAL Catalog Search (resources)

About the Exotic Indo-Pacific Lionfish
DOI. NPS. Biscayne National Park.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution

Marine Invasive Species: Pterois volitans (PDF | 74 KB)
DOI. NPS. Natural Resource Program Center.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Dispersion

Pterois volitans - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database
DOI. USGS. Southeast Ecological Science Center.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Special Note: Distribution maps and collection information (State and County)

Pterois volitans - Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Illustrations; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution

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State Government

Red Lionfish: Ornate, but Destructive (Jul 2011; PDF | 163 KB)
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution

Lionfish - Pterois volitans
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

The Lionfish Invasion
Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Habitat

Lionfish: The Next Potential Threat to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States (PDF | 386 KB)
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License Program.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution

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University/Academic

Marine Invaders: The Lionfish (PDF | 644 KB)
University of Florida. IFAS Extension. Collier County.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution

Red Lionfish - Biological Profiles
University of Florida. Florida Museum of Natural History. Ichthyology Department.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Habitat; Distribution

Invasive Species: Red Lionfish (PDF | 198 KB)
University of Georgia. Marine Extension Service.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Habitat

Aquatic Invaders: Red Lionfish - Aquatic Invader Toolkit (PDF | 571 KB)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls

Pterois volitans
University of Michigan. Museum of Zoology. Animal Diversity Web.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion

Lionfish - Introduced Species Summary Project
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Controls

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International

Pterois volitans - Invasive Species Compendium
Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI).
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

Lionfish
Cayman Islands Government.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

Red lionfish - Species Summary
FishBase.org.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion

Pterois volitans (fish) - ISSG Global Invasive Species Database
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

St. Eustatius National Marine Park Lionfish Response Plan (Jul 2009; PDF | 2.52 MB)
St. Eustatius National Parks (Netherlands Antilles).
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Life Cycle; Distribution; Controls

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Organizations

Biological invasion of the Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans along the Atlantic coast of North America (Vol. 235: 289-297, 2002; PDF | 494 KB)
Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Geographic extent and chronology of the invasion of non-native lionfish (Pterois volitans [Linnaeus 1758] and P. miles [Bennett 1828]) in the Western North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea (2009; PDF | 2.70 MB)
Aquatic Invasions.
Introduction History; Distribution

The Bahamas: Stopping the Lionfish
Nature Conservancy.
Introduction History; Impacts; Habitat

Lionfish Research Program
Reef Environmental Education Foundation.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Habitat

Citations

Morris, J.A. and P.E. Whitfield. 2009. Biology, Ecology, Control and Management of the Invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish: An Updated Integrated Assessment (PDF | 3.53 MB) NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 99.

Schofield, P.J., J.A. Morris, J.N. Langston, and P.L. Fuller. 2012. Pterois volitans/miles. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL.

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Last Modified: Nov 26, 2013
 
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