Aka: Lionfish

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Invasive Species in the West Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea

A poisonous spiky fish...

  • Carnivore
  • Average life span: Up to 15 years
  • Size: 11.8 to 15 in
  • Weight: Up to 2.6 lbs

I wonder....

How deep have invasive lionfish been found?

Scientist have discovered a known lion fish to have been 1000 feet below sea level

How long can a lionfish survive without eating?

Up to 3 months, losing only 10% of their body mass

Is eating a lionfish healthy?

Yes. Studies have shown that eating a lion fish is healthier than eating a snapper.

Habitat...Where do they live??

They are found in mostly all warm marine waters of the tropics

  • In tropical reefs
  • Rocky crevices

Dive as low as 1 to 1000 feet

Native: Indo-Pacific from Australia north to southern Japan and south to Micronesia

Currently living: Savannah, Georgia; Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Florida; Long Island, New York; Bermuda, Charleston.


They can adapt to many of their surroundings

  • Only live in salt water
  • They don't have many predators
  • Overpopulating and invading
  • Feed on small fishes and invertebrates
  • Invest most of their food energy in growing a large body
  • No natural predator (although some sharks do prey on them)

Food Web

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How it became invasive...


The lionfish would prey on and compete with species which are already facing heavy pressure from fishing. Once released, the lionfish can survive, breed and become exotic.

It has no known predator, making them "powerful" in the ocean.

They can invade in any warm area throughout the world and negatively impact other fishes around them.

Future Prognosis

No method of control has been conducted.

Long term problems:

  • Impact on prey population numbers by affecting food web relationships
  • Reef deterioration up to 80%

How can you help??

  • Donate to the NOAAC enter for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina
  • Become more aware of the invasion of the lionfish
Lion fish