Species: Pterois volitans, Red firefish, Red Lionfish, the Turkeyfish
Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758)
Red Lionfish, Red firefish, Turkeyfish
Body moderately compressed; head large and spiny, forehead profile steep; a long tentacle over eye; branched barbells under lower jaw; dorsal fin with very elongate spines (longer than body depth, much longer in juvenile), membranes deeply indented between spines such that most of each spine is free, with a broad featherlike membrane behind it, fin deeply notched between spines and rays, XIII, 11; pectoral fin long, reaching well past anal fin base, 13-15 unbranched rays; deeply indented membranes between rays; anal fin III, 6; body scaled, scales smooth.
Body pale red to whitish, with ~8 broad brown to blackish bars, each one separated by several thin dark bars; head with similar bars, those on rear of head diagonal and extending onto chest; fins with whitish tips.
Reaches 49 cm; 1.4 Kg. In our area lives up to ~7 years
Lives on reefs, usually in sheltered habitats, often in harbours. Found in caves during daylight hours.
Depth range: 2-304 m.
Its native range is the E Indian Ocean to the W and Central Pacific; apparently introduced to SE Florida in the early 1990s, and as of 2011 had spread throughout virtually the entire Greater Caribbean.
Note: P. volitans was recently (2017) shown to be a hybrid of P. miles, from the Indian Ocean and P. russelii from the west Pacific, and hence is not a valid species. In addition to P. volitans a small percentage of the Greater Caribbean population consists of P. miles, which is rare among the fish captured in Florida, and currently is known only from the eastern US.
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- Marine Only
- Inshore Only
- Water Column Position
- Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
- Reef and soft bottom
- Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
- Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
- FishBase Habitat
- Reef Associated
- Feeding Group
- Bony fishes
- Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
- Egg Type
- Pelagic larva
- Global Endemism
- Greater Caribbean non-endemic
- Exotic (Introduced)
- Regional Endemism
- Extends North of GC
- Exotic (Introduced)
- Continent + Island (s)
- Island (s)
- GC non-endemic
- Climate Zone
- Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
- Temperate (>35N)
- Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
- Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
- IUCN Red List
- Not evaluated / Listed
- Not listed
- Length Max
- Depth Range Min
- Depth Range Max