Common Name(s): Lionfish, Red Lionfish, Turkey Fish, Zebra Fish
THREAT to MAINE
Research Summary: Mariah T.
|Researching the lionfish was difficult because most of the information I found on websites was something I already had or it was false. There are a good amount of resources but not enough specific information on this species to help me with my research.
I think the most surprising fact I found was that the lionfish prefers warm waters and not cold waters. I think the most important things about the this species that I discovered is that the lionfish is overpopulating many areas and that it may impact local tourism, which is really bad for some states and towns.
Taxonomy of Species
| Scientific Classification
|| What That Classification Means
||Many-celled, able to move, and they eat plants or other animals.|
|Phylum||Chordata|| Animals that have a skeleton made of either bone or cartilage. They are
distinguished by the possession of a notochord (very large cells that are
arranged within a protective sheath) at some stage during their
|| Fin rays: fins are webs of skin supported by horny spines (rays), fin rays
attach directly to the basal (bottom layer or base) skeletal elements.
|Order||Scorpaeniformes|| Head and body tend to be spiny or have bony plates, membranes (acts
like a boundary) between lower rays are often notched, pectoral fin (a pair
of fins just behind the fish’s head) and caudal fin (tail fin) usually rounded.
||Scorpion fishes or rockfishes.|
|| Marine fish containing venom, pectoral fins (a pair of fins just behind the
fish’s head) are fan-shaped, and a spiky first dorsal fin.
|| Have 13 dorsal spines, red and white stripes, feather-like pectoral rays,
bony ridge across cheek.
Similar species include: Lionfish are related to the scorpionfish and the stone fish which are more poisonous and dangerous.
Location and Movement
|Origin/ Native Range
|| Thought to be first found in the Atlantic waters when Florida aquarium was damaged during
Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
|Spread of Species||
|Where is it now invasive?||
|Is this species in Maine?
|Where has it been identified?
|| The closest location it is to Maine is Rhode Island. This species is most likey from Florida then
expand into North Carolina.
|Possibility of Introduction
|Climate and Temperature Range
|| Prefers to live in warm waters such as 22C and 28C.
|Ecological Interactions||A carnivore and predator.|
|| The lionfish is thought to be consumed by the Sand tiger sharks and the grouper.|
|Human|| Lionfish sting may cause extreme pain, swelling, redness, bleeding, nausea, numbness, joint
pain, anxiety, headache, disorientation, dizziness, paralysis, and convulsions.