What Are Some Interesting Lionfish Facts?


Quick Answer

Young lionfish have wigglers, which are flesh-like parts located under their mouths and over their eyes, that lure in prey, according to the World Lionfish Hunters Association. Lionfish can go without eating for three months and only lose 10 percent of their body weight.

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Full Answer

The fleshy nobs that protrude from younger lionfish bodies are used by the fish as bait for smaller prey. When a fish tries to eat the nobs, the lionfish eats the prey. These nobs are lost over time as the fish gain experience in hunting. The nobs fall off during hunting or shrink down naturally. Lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific region and the Red Sea, but they are considered an invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Lionfish in U.S. waters are suffering from obesity and many suffer from liver damage due to overeating. Researchers are finding unhealthy lionfish with internal organs surrounded by fat. The stomach of a lionfish can expand more than 30 times its volume.

Research indicates that lionfish die at a water temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Lionfish have been spotted at ocean depths as low as 1,000 feet. Natural predators found within their native habitat include sharks, frog fish, cornetfish and grouper. Lionfish have no documented predators outside of their typical habitat, but there have been reports of grouper, large eels and gray triggerfish eating them in the Caribbean.

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