The lionfish is native to the reef habitats of the Indo-Pacific, an area that extends from Western Australia to Japan and throughout Micronesia. It also resides off the East Coast of the United States and as far south as the Turks Islands.
Lionfish live near coral and rocky reefs in depths of up to 50 meters. They are also known as zebrafish, turkeyfish, firefish and butterfly-cod. The species has venomous spiny fin rays and is colored in alternating vertical stripes that may be red, white, cream and black. Lionfish range in size from 2 to 17.7 inches in length and weigh between 0.06 and 2.87 pounds. Their typical prey includes invertebrates, small fish and mollusks.