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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Lionfish
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Scientific name: Pterois volitans (Linnaeus) (ITIS)

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 News
    DOC. NOAA. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
    Note: Provides search results for "lionfish"

Selected Resources

Native To: Western Pacific Ocean (NAS Database)

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

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:



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Species of Concern Fact Sheet: Lionfish
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.


Invasive Lionfish Web Portal
Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.
The Invasive Lionfish Web Portal, developed by the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in partnership with NOAA, supports the management and control of lionfish in conservation areas along the Southeast coast of the U.S. and Caribbean.

NEANS Panel Online Guide - Lionfish
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

Texas Invasives Database - Pterois volitans

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Lionfish
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Invasive Species Compendium - Pterois volitans
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Pterois volitans (fish)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

Biology, Ecology, Control and Management of the Invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish: An Updated Integrated Assessment (Dec 2009; PDF | 2.7 MB)
DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Impact Assessments and Management Strategies for Invasive Lionfish in the Atlantic
DOC. NOAA. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.

About the Exotic Indo-Pacific Lionfish
DOI. NPS. Biscayne National Park.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Lionfish
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - Pterois volitans
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS) - Pterois volitans
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

State Government

Lionfish - Pterois volitans
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Venomous Lionfish Invades Coastal Waters
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License Program.


Alabama Aquatic Nuisance Species Series: Venomous Lionfish (Oct 2013)
Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

EDIS - Invasive Species of Florida’s Coastal Waters: The Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) and Devil Firefish (P. miles)
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #SGEF 208

Marine Invaders: The Lionfish (PDF | 864 KB)
University of Florida. IFAS Extension. Miami-Dade County.
See also: Miami-Dade County Extension Publications for more fact sheets

Discover Fishes - Red Lionfish
University of Florida. Florida Museum of Natural History. Ichthyology Department.

Animal Diversity Web - Pterois volitans
University of Michigan. Museum of Zoology.

Introduced Species Summary Project - Lionfish
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.


Invasive Lionfish Program
Reef Environmental Education Foundation.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Pterois volitans. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

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). NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Fact Sheet - Lionfish. USGS, Gainesville, FL. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

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Last Modified: Sep 26, 2018
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