Volitans Lionfish (Pterois volitans)

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Volitans Lionfish

Volitans Lionfish

Pterois volitans

379 Litres (100 US G.)

30.5-38.1cm (12-15 ")


8.2 - 8.4

22 -28 °C (71.6-82.4°F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Live Foods
Other (See article)

8-15 years



Additional names

Volitans Lionfish, Red Lionfish, Common Lionfish, Red Firefish, Turkeyfish, Butterfly Cod

Additional scientific names

Gasterosteus volitans, Pterois lunulata


Found in the Pacific Ocean from Cocos-Keeling Islands to Western Australia and 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.[1]


It's very difficult to sex Lionfish, and breeding in captivity has so far been unsuccessful.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Can be kept with other members of the Scorpionfish or Rockfish family. However will attempt to eat any fish smaller than itself. Can also safely be kept with snowflake eels.


Difficult to feed. Will need lots of patience to get this fish to take frozen food. Will gladly take live ghost shrimp and will slowly learn to take silversides, krill, squid, cocktail shrimp, scallops or other fresh seafood. These are recommended to be soaked in vitamin supplements before feeding. Do not feed this fish fatty feeder fish such as guppies and goldfish, they can cause liver disease.

Feeding regime[edit]

Once or twice day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Needs a spacious tank with room to hide if necessary.


Not a highly active fish, may slowly swim around the tank, perch on rocks or hide in crevices.


One of the most recognisable saltwater fish. The Volitans Lionfish has long feather like fins, the dorsal and pelvic of which are tipped with stingers. They have a large head and mouth and the body and fins are coloured with white and red/brown stripes.

Species Note[edit]

The Lionfish is one of the most venomous fish on the ocean bottom floor. Lionfish have venomous dorsal spines that are used purely for defense. When threatened, the fish often faces its attacker in a head-down posture which brings its spines to bear. However, a Lionfish's sting is usually not fatal to humans. If a human is envenomed, that person will experience extreme pain, and possibly headaches, vomiting, and breathing difficulties. A common treatment is soaking the afflicted area in hot water, as very few hospitals carry specific treatments. (Erickson.)However, immediate emergency medical treatment is still advised, as some people are more susceptible to the venom than others.[2]


  1. Fishbase (Mirrors: Icons-flag-us.png) Distribution
  2. Aldred B, Erickson T, Lipscomb J (November 1996). "Lionfish envenomations in an urban wilderness". Wilderness Environ Med 7 (4): 291–6. PMID 11990126.


External links[edit]