Lionfish Field Guide

Family: Pteroinae – Lionfish

The elaborate striped coloration of the Lionfish is unmistakable, but more importantly is a warning sign to predators that they are poisonous. It is also thought that the lines confuse those that might wish to eat them by breaking up the body form.

Some species have “false eye” spots meant to confuse predators as to the where abouts of the creatures true eyes as this is usually the focus of an attack.

Species: Parapterios heterurus – Blackfoot Lionfish

The Blackfoot Lionfish is a rare encounter, prefering deeper water environemts. On first appearance this relatively small lionfish bares many similarities to other family members of the species.

However upon closer inspection it’s easily identified by striking bright blue lines on the inside of its pectoral fins and dots on the inner part of the ventral fins.

Also, between the second and third spine of the tailfin is an extended filament, see image 005. for a closer look.

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