Lionfish Information & Care
|Back to Saltwater Aquarium Fish Species|
|Fish Type||Species needing experienced care and large tanks|
|Scientific Name||Pterois or Dendrochirus,|
The scorpionfishes or rockfishes are a family (Scorpaenidae) of mostly marine fish that includes many of the world's most venomous species. The family is a large one, with hundreds of members. They are widespread in tropical and temperate seas, but mostly found in the Indo-Pacific area.
Some types, such as the lionfish, are attractive as well as dangerous, and highly desired for aquaria.
General characteristics of family members include a compressed body, ridges and/or spines on the head, one or two spines on the opercle, and three to five spines on the preopercle. The dorsal fin will have 11-17 spines, often long and separated from each other, and the pectoral fins will be well-developed, with 11-25 rays. The spines of the dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins all have venom glands at their bases.
Most species are bottom-dwellers that feed on crustaceans and smaller fishes, in some cases using the spines to paralyze their victims before gulping them.
Scorpaenid systematics are complicated and unsettled.