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#4996 Red Lionfish - Artis Royal Zoo Amsterdam (Holland)

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Red Lionfish at the Artis Royal Zoo (also known as Natura Artis Magistra), Amsterdam (Holland)

The Red Lionfish is a venomous coral reef fish in the family Scorpaenidae and is natively found in the Indo-Pacific region, but has become an invasive problem in the Caribbean Sea, as well as along the East Coast of the United States. Red Lionfish are clad in white stripes alternated with red/maroon/brown stripes. Adults in this species can grow as large as 47 cm (18,5 in) in length, making it one of the largest species of lionfish in the ocean. The average Red Lionfish lives around 10 years. As with many species within the family Scopaenidae, it has large, venomous spines that protrude from the body, similar to a mane, giving it the common name lionfish. The venomous spines make the fish inedible or deter most potential predators. Lionfish reproduce monthly and are able to quickly disperse during their larval stage for expansion of their invasive region. No definitive predators of the lionfish are known, and many organizations are promoting the harvest and consumption of lionfish in efforts to prevent further increases in the already high population densities. The venom of the Red Lionfish, delivered via an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins, is purely defensive. A sting from a lionfish is extremely painful to humans and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties, but is rarely fatal.

Matthijs van Wageningen
Created on
Tuesday 5 June 2018
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