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    The Red Lionfish, sometimes called turkey fish, zebra fish, dragon fish, butterfly cod, or fire fish, is a tropical saltwater fish native to Indo-Pacific coral reefs.

    Appearance

    It is easily recognized by long feather-like spines and striped body. The long spines serve as a protection and warning of the venom contained in the dorsal spines.

    Venom

    The venom from the spine is not fatal but very painful and will usually subside after 2 or 3 hours, depending on the amount.

    Hunting

    The species is an efficient predator on smaller fish which it corners and entraps before swallowing it whole. It also feeds on shrimp and prawns. They also hunt in packs, cooperating to drive the prey toward the waiting jaws of the larger, dominant lionfish.

    Reproduction

    They reproduce at a rate of 2 million eggs annually. Within a year, they can strip a reef area of nearly 80% of its small fish population.

    As Pets

    In a marine tank, they are peaceful with larger fishes but will defend themselves if attacked. People who keep them will tell you that these fishes will quickly become tame and will respond to their owners, beg for food, and generally behave like true pets.

    Video Credits: BBC Earth
    Image Credits: SvenBachstroem

    References:

    1. Daniel Beckman – Marine Environmental Biology and Conservation
    2. Ray Hunziker – Marine Aquariums: Basic Aquarium Setup And Maintenance
    3. Rosalie Klein – Moon Aruba

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