The lionfish is a slow-moving and colorful carnivore native to the Indo-PacificPopulations of this fish is rapidly spreading and they are currently an invasive species in the Atlantic Oceana
lionfish are top predators that compete for food with the native fish on reefs in the Atlantic such as snappers and groupersLionfish have no known predators and they are able to reproduce all year long mature females can release around 2 million eggs per year.
Adults can grow up to 18 inches (.5 m) long lion fish thrive in warm tropical waters. They consume over 50 species of fish even though they are slow-moving, their bright coloration and venomous spines ward off predators.
They can travel alone or in small groups hunting takes place at night. They will corner their prey and stun it with one of their venomous spines before swallowing lionfish have been known to consume the juveniles of large species like groupers, snappers, parrotfish, and surgeonfishLarger lionfish have even been observed consuming smaller members of their own species.
During the day, these fish remain inactive and shelter in reef crevices. As their invasive population grows, lionfish fillets and competitions to spear the most lionfish are becoming more popular.
They are also popular ornamental fish in aquariums and are commonly collected for the aquarium tradeBecause of their aquarium popularity, it is possible that they were intentionally released into the Atlantic Ocean
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