The lionfish is a very famous fish of the marine fauna and one of the most peculiar wild animals. Although it is small, it is still dangerous due to a large amount of poison in it.
It is also widely known, wrongly, as the scorpionfish, and this is because it belongs to the family Scorpaenidae, which means they are poisonous fish. Indeed, it is one of the ocean’s most exciting and intriguing wild animals.
Lion Fish Characteristics
Its scientific name is Pterois antennata. There are those who say that it was accidentally placed in the Mediterranean Sea, which has made it a plague and a problem for the reproduction of other species. It is also seen as a problem for tourism.
One of its great and distinguished features is its rays, which are located on its pectoral fins. These fins have no membranes between them. It also has long black and white antennas. In the case of its body, it has red, white and brown lines. Above the eyes has long antennas, which have very dark bands, depending on each specimen. This makes it look like he has horns over his eyes.
Its body is no more than 20 centimetres long and can weigh up to 1 kilo. Its 18 dorsal fins are sharp and are its main weapon to defend itself. When a small animal species touches these fins, they give off a poison that is deadly. In the case of stinging humans, this poison is not so catastrophic. In the worst case, it can cause nausea, severe pain and breathing problems.
LionFish facts poison
It is not fatal to humans, except for those who are allergic to its toxins.
SYMPTOMS THAT YOUR STING MAY CAUSE:
- Respiratory paralysis
- Circulatory insufficiency
All these symptoms usually disappear after approximately 1 or 2 days.
Lion Fish Habitat
It is said that this type of fish lives in warm areas, specifically in the reefs and corals of the Indigo and Pacific seas. Today there are reports that this species is found inhabiting the Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.
There are two fundamental aspects that we can limit: The ferocious hunting of sharks by humans (those who use it as food) and the rapid reproduction of lionfish, have made it a pest, having few predators to control their reproduction.
This has caused the lionfish to decrease the number of other species that inhabit corals and reefs. Therefore, lionfish reproduction is becoming a problem for the food chain of species living in such areas.
Carnivorous feeding of this wild animal
This beautiful, striking, and dangerous fish is a large carnivorous predator. Its diet is based on shrimp, small fish, and other crustaceans. As it has a very well-designed camouflage, it can easily deceive its prey and catch it.
In addition to all this, it has a good speed to reach small fish. Well, it is a fish with a strong and deep-rooted sense of territoriality. It is an animal that does not like to live accompanied, prefers to live alone.
His hunting habit is usually at night and early hours of the day. Usually, this fish rests between the rocks of the reefs and corals. This is not only because of its solitary nature but also to protect itself from its threats, fundamentally the shark. It can remain hidden for several hours.
In the breeding season, males seek to form groups and choose up to eight females. Such groups are closed and territorial. If other males intend to enter such groups, the male may defend his territory and engage in very aggressive fights. The winner of such a contest will be able to mate with the eight females.
The lionfish reach maturity within a year of life. Females spawn up to 15,000 eggs. Eggs hatch in two days, with the hatchlings. Although most of these hatchlings and eggs are consumed, the population growth of this species is still very high.
Why are Lionfish a Problem?
In its natural habitat, which is the Indian and Pacific Oceans, its existence is normal. However, they are considered a pest in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and a few others. Their stay there affects the food chain and reduces the life of other types of native fish, which in turn affects the food and tourism situation in those areas.
As we saw, their reproduction is very fast, as well as their growth; so due to their significant expansion, they are looking for ways to reduce their population; hunting being the only viable option.
Gastronomy and the Lion Fish
Its human consumption is being promoted to control its excessive growth; therefore, it is becoming an international gastronomy dish.
Its fins with toxins are removed, and in Japan, it is a very coveted dish. It is also being promoted to the intake of this fish in other parts of the world.