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Wisdom Wednesday | Lionfish

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday 12/09/2020

Image of a Lionfish by Instagram user Chelle Blais
Photo by Chelle Blais

Size of lionfish depends on the species. Smallest species are only 2 inches long, while largest can reach 16 inches in length. On average, lionfish have 1 to 2 pounds in weight and can reach 13 inches in length. Lionfish are famous by their beautifully colored bodies, covered with red, white, orange, black or brown stripes (it depends on the species). Stripes are arranged in zebra-like pattern. They have feathery pectoral fins that are used to attract smaller prey. On the other hand, same features keep the predators on the safe distance. Lionfish has more than thirteen (up to 18) venomous spines on the back side of the body. Venom is used only for self-defense (lionfish does not hunt using these spikes). Lionfish is a carnivore (meat-eater). It eats various types of fish and crustaceans. They often hunt as an ambush predator (using the factor of surprise). The large mouth of lionfish allows swallowing of the prey in a single bite. They can survive from 5 to 15 years as a diurnal animal (active during the day).

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