Lionfish info forum: Lion fish, basic information

Views: 26, Replies: 2 » Jump to the end
Feb 18, 2010 2:57 PM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Lion fish have invaded the Atlantic and Caribbean.

Hello, nice to have you here. Have you heard about Lion fish? They are a spectacular looking fish, native to the Western Pacific. They were imported into the USA for the aquarium trade. Unfortunately, the three inch long, 7-8 centimeter fish grows to over a foot long in one year. There are several theories as to how they were introduced in numbers sufficient to establish a breeding population.

They were first seen near Miami, Florida in 1985. Beginning in 2000, they were regularly sighted in southern Florida They have spread all up the East Coast of the USA, to New York, and further, being limited by cold sea temperatures. They are in Bermuda, all down the Bahamas, and almost completely all over the Caribbean.

They eat just about anything that moves, and they seem to have no predators.

They have frightfully poisonous spines, and can inflict a sting that is terribly painful, and in some people cause dangerous side effects.

They live about fifteen years, and lay from 6,000 to 40,000 eggs as often, or perhaps more often as every six weeks, year around, there are differing ideas as to exactly how many offspring they produce, but it's a mind-boggling lot.

They have been seen at 600 feet, 175 meters deep by a research submersible off North Carolina. And they've been seen shallow, ten feet and less.

Here's a map produced and updated regularly by the US Geological Surveyap of where they have spread to since 1992:

Here is an animated map of their spread:

Other links:

I don't have a photo for you, yet. I haven't seen one! St Croix, US Virgin Islands, my home, has had a few, and we're hunting them all the time! We hope to keep them to a minimum here.

Feb 20, 2010 11:58 AM CST
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5a
Truth is worth finding
Very Interesting. Thank you for the information
I think the lion fish is beautiful I have them as my screen blanker Perhaps that is where they need to stay as a screen blanker.
Do they offer a bounty? That is how things'' use to be'' when a species became a threat or problem.
Feb 20, 2010 6:31 PM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Belize offered a bounty for a short while, but they ran out of money very quickly.

If the fish could be made into a food craze, like for dining, that would be very good. They are delicious.

The big problem is how extremely toxic their spines are. One slight touch results in excruciating pain. They can still sting after being dead, up to three days.


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