Lionfish larvae drift in water for 25 to 40 days and then become adequate hunters of small ciliates four days after hatching. Lionfish have a lifespan of five to 15 years, though many lionfish in the wild die early in their lifecycle due to predators.
The common lionfish has a striped body with white spots along the lateral line. This species has long, separated spines, including 11 dorsal fin spines and seven anal fin spines. Lionfish are usually white and reddish brown, but some are yellow or black. Lionfish are 11 to 15 inches long at maturity and weigh around 2.5 pounds.