|Image from Wikimedia Commons|
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The common name "Liofish" can refer to any of the species found within several genuses of the family Scorpaenidae. They are all characterized by their often colorful, striped bodies, and long spines. Most species are around a foot in length when fully mature, and can have spines that reach as long as 14in. Lionfish are native to the tropical coral reef near Indonesia, but they are quickly becoming a non-native invasive species in other areas of the world. They are also prized in the pet trade.
The spines of a Lionfish are toxic, but not actually used in hunting. Their venom is merely a defensive tactic, and can be dangerous to humans, though not often fatal. Lionfish do their actual hunting be relying on camouflage and stalking their prey. They eat a variety of fish and crustaceans, and have been known to practice cannibalism. Lionfish themselves are preyed upon by very few species, though interestingly, due to their invasion of Atlantic Waters, human consumption of Lionfish has become more and more popular. The fish themselves are not poisonous, and can be prepared like any other fish once the spines are removed.