Red Lionfish

© Johan Boshoff


Red Lionfish (Pterois)


Turkeyfish or Firefish


Red Lionfish are 30 cm in length on average but can be as long as 50 cm.


Red Lionfish have a pair of pectoral fins shaped as a fan. The name lionfish derives from its spiky first dorsal fins resembling a lion’s mane. They vary in colour, but are predominantly brown or maroon with vertical white lines.

General Info

Red Lionfish belong to the Pterois genus which comprises of nine species. They are well camouflaged, docile creatures that are not easily scared off by divers. Their spikes are venomous, but not deadly. Using their wide pectoral fins, they trap their prey in corners when they hunt at nighttime. They can be found over coral reefs, hunting with their heads down. Red Lionfish are pelagic spawners.


Red Lionfish feed on small fish, crabs and shrimps.


They can be found in all tropical and temperate oceans across the world.

Common Species

Broadbarred scorpionfish/Spotfin lionfish (Pterois antennata)
Lionfish/Devil firefish (Pterois miles)
Radial scorpionfish (Pterois radiata)

© Johan Boshoff