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Scorpionfishes

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General Information

The family of Scorpionfishes, which includes the Lionfishes, are aptly named for their ability to inflict painful, stinging wounds. They accomplish this with the use of several stout, venomous spines which are usually found on the head as well as the dorsal, anal, and ventral fins. Because stings can cause pain and infection, aquarists should know how to properly handle these fishes with care.

By nature, Scorpionfishes are well camouflaged bottom-dwellers that lack an air bladder and don’t swim much. They are predatory carnivores so when they do swim it is usually to make short, quick dashes to capture food or to escape to shelter. Lionfishes spread out their ornately patterned fins to confuse as they slowly approach and engulf prey with their very large mouths. Hundreds of species of Scorpionfishes can be found in marine waters worldwide.

Aquarium Care & Feeding

Scorpionfishes may only accept live foods in initial stages of captivity; however, nearly every specimen can be easily weaned onto a diet of frozen fish, shrimp, squid, and/or other meaty frozen items. They are peaceful in captivity but should not be kept with fishes small enough to swallow. Lionfishes need plenty of room in which to maneuver.