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Lionfish

  • are a type of scorpionfish, from the family Scorpaenidae
  • are native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • are popular aquarium fish, often kept as pets
  • are an invasive species in Bermuda
  • were released, accidentally or deliberately, into the Atlantic in the 1980's
  • have invaded the Eastern US, Bermuda, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico
  • are indiscriminate predators feeding on 70 different species of fish and crustaceans
  • have no natural predators in the Atlantic and prey do not recognize them as a threat
  • have 18 venomous spines
  • are sexually mature in approximately 1 year
  • each female can release over 2 million eggs in a single year

Lionfish in Bermuda

  • were first recorded in April 2001, but the individual was actually caught the summer before in a tide pool in Devonshire Bay
  • are found in very shallow water and down to depths greater than 250 ft
  • have been reported in all sizes, from juveniles about 4 inches in length to the world record, nearly 19 inches, that was caught in Bermuda.
Image taken from NOAA and modified

 

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