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Pterois volitans  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Red lionfish
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
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Pterois volitans   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Pterois volitans (Red lionfish)
Pterois volitans
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads) > Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes) > Pteroinae
Etymology: Pterois: Greek, pteron = wing, fin (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 55 m (Ref. 30874).   Tropical; 22°C - 28°C; 43°N - 40°S, 95°E - 130°W (Ref. 55292)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 16 - ? cm
Max length : 38.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334); max. reported age: 10 years (Ref. 72479)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-12; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 6 - 8. Scales cycloid (Ref. 37816). Variable in color, usually in relation to habitat. Coastal species generally darker, sometimes almost black in estuaries. Often with large tentacles above eyes (Ref. 48635).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Pacific Ocean: Cocos-Keeling Islands and Western Australia (Ref. 27362) in the eastern Indian Ocean to the Marquesas and Oeno (Pitcairn group), north to southern Japan and southern Korea, south to Lord Howe Island, northern New Zealand, and the Austral Islands. Replaced by the very similar Pterois miles from the Red Sea to Sumatra.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs from turbid inshore areas to depths of 50 m. Often solitary, they hide in unexposed places at daytime often with head down and practically immobile. Pelagic juveniles expatriate over great distances and the reason for their broad geographical range (Ref. 48635). Hunt small fishes, shrimps, and crabs at night, using its widespread pectorals trapping prey into a corner, stunning it and then swallowing it in one sweep. Dorsal spines are venomous; the sting can be treated by heating the afflicted part and application of corticoids (Ref. 5503). A popular table fish.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Myers, R.F., 1991. Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Venomous (Ref. 1602)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5010   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01202 (0.00458 - 0.03158), b=3.06 (2.84 - 3.28), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (54 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.