Lionfish aka Pterois volitans – Profile & Photos

The Volitans Lionfish (Pterois volitans) is a Beautiful fish but also just as dangerous, they have venomous spines which can deliver a painful sting. If you wish to keep one of these the utmost respect must be had for them when working inside the tank. They are best suited for Large Saltwater Predator tanks, as they will consume smaller companions. The Lionfish comes in a variety of species, the more common being the Volitans Lionfish, which is pictured below. The semi common Fumanchu Lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus) is a smaller species (5″ or so max size) which would do well if you are limited to a smaller tank but still want to keep a Lionfish species.

Scientific Name: Pterois Volitans

Common Name: Lionfish, Lion Fish, Volitans Lionfish, Scorpionfish

Regions of Origin: Indo-Pacific Regions but certain species have invaded areas such as Southern Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.

Temperament: Generally not aggressive but they will eat any smaller companions that are bite sized.

Diet: Predatory fish. They eat smaller fish, invertebrates,  and crustaceans.

Size: 5″ -15″ (Depending on the specific species)

Tank Size: Depends on the specific species, smaller dwarf species such as the Fumanchu Lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus) would do fine in a tank as small as 55 gallons while larger ones would be more at home in a125+ gallon aquarium.

Water: 76-79 degrees, 1.022 – 1.025 sg – 8.0-8.3 ph

List of Lionfish Species

  • Pterois andover
  • Pterois antennata – spotfin lionfish – 8″ Maximum size
  • Pterois lunulata – luna lionfish
  • Pterois miles – devil firefish – 12″ Maximum size
  • Pterois mombasae – frillfin turkeyfish
  • Pterois radiata – clearfin lionfish – 8″ Maximum size
  • Pterois russelii – soldier lionfish, red volitans lionfish
  • Pterois sphex – Hawaiian turkeyfish
  • Pterois volitans – red lionfish, volitans lionfish – 15″ Maximum size
List of Dwarf Lionfish Species
  • Dendrochirus barberi –  6.5″ Maximum size
  • Dendrochirus bellus –
  • Dendrochirus zebra – Zebra Lionfish – 9″ Maximum size
  • Dendrochirus brachypterus –  Shortfin Lionfish – 7″ Maximum size
  • Dendrochirus biocellatus – Fumanchu Lionfish – 5″ Maximum size

Lionfish Pictures

Lionfish swimming in an Aquarium.

Pair of Lionfish

Lionfish staring me down at the Niagara Aquarium.

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