Lionfish suck! To eat, lionfish create a vacuum within their mouth then, like a trap, it springs open and any surrounding food is sucked inside!

Painful puncture wounds

Lionfish are members of the scorpionfish family, which includes some of the most venomous animals in the world! As their name suggests, scorpionfish have spines within their fins that can sting. Lionfish have 13 hollow spines along their back that inject venom. The venom causes painful swelling, burning sensations and mobility issues but is not deadly!

Treat it fast

The symptoms of a lionfish sting vary between individuals, from bee-sting like pain to unbelievable agony! Pain is alleviated with hot water, however the wound needs to be treated by a doctor as it can develop gangrene!

Ocean flyers

Lionfish get their name from the large side fins that wrap around their head like a lion’s mane. The lionfish found in WA is the red lionfish; its scientific name ‘Pterois’ is Latin for winged and ‘volitans’ is Greek for flying. This describes the lionfish’s oversized side fins and graceful, bird-like swimming style.

Double trouble

The lionfish’s fins have a double danger! As well as its venomous spines, its side fins work like a net to herd and trap prey against the reef.

Patterns with purpose

The spots and stripes on the lionfish’s body aren’t just for show! These patterns break up their body outline, confusing both predators and prey. It’s hard for other animals to know the lionfish’s exact shape or which way it might swim!


The lionfish is part of a dangerous and deadly line-up of creatures found in the DANGERzone!