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Scientific Name:
Pterois volitans (Linnaeus) (ITIS)
Common Name:
Lionfish, lion fish, zebrafish, firefish, turkeyfish, red lionfish, butterfly cod, ornate butterfly-cod, peacock lionfish, red firefish, scorpion volitans
Lionfish, adult about 40 miles off the North Carolina coast in 140 feet of water (Summer 2001) - Photo by Paula Whitfield; NOAA, Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research


  • DOC. NOAA. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
    Note: Provides search results for "lionfish"
Native To:
Western Pacific Ocean (NAS Database)
Date of U.S. Introduction:
Means of Introduction:
Aquarium trade (Morris and Whitfield 2009)
Preys on native species; has venomous spines (Morris and Whitfield 2009)

Distribution/Maps/Survey Status



Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Lionfish.

Council or Task Force

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.


IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
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.
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Federal Government

DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 99
DOI. NPS. Biscayne National Park.
DOC. NOAA. National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

DOC. NOAA. National Ocean Service.

State and Local Government

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License Program.


Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
University of Michigan. Museum of Zoology.
University of Florida. Florida Museum of Natural History.
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #SGEF 208
University of Florida. Florida Sea Grant.
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.


Reef Environmental Education Foundation.