Lionfish: here’s the scoop


The lionfish has become an aquatic invader in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Considered an invasive species, the lionfish has a detrimental effect on native fish and crustacean populations.

Insider Info

There are twelve species of lionfish and the Zoo is home two species; red lionfish and common lionfish which reside inside Rainforests, Rivers & Reefs.



Scientific name

Pterois volitans


Shallow waters around coral reefs, caves or rocky areas


They consume more than 70 species of fish and many invertebrate species such as shrimp and crab

life expectancy

5 – 15 years

Did you know?

Lionfish are not poisonous, they are venomous. The difference between poison and venom is the method of delivery. Venom must be injected into the bloodstream to cause injury, such as through a sharp spine or fang, but is harmless if eaten.


Indian and Pacific Oceans

Conservation status

Least Concern

Widespread and abundant