Volitan Lionfish, Colored (Pterois volitans)
VOLITAN LIONFISH (PTEROIS VOLITANS)
The Volitan Lionfish, Pterois volitans, is also known as the Red Lionfish and the Common Lionfish. These fish come from the across the Pacific Ocean and into the Eastern Indian Ocean. They are now considered an invasive species in the Caribbean Sea and Western Atlantic after being introduced by humans. They have a whitish body with reddish-brown to black vertical stripes. The pectoral and dorsal fins are particularly large and venomous.
Lionfish are carnivores and require a diet rich in meaty foods, such as marine fish and crustacean flesh, clams, and other marine meaty foods. They only need to be fed about 3 times per week.
Volitan Lionfish reach lengths of up to 15″ and require an aquarium of at least 120 gallons with low water flow, plenty of rock for hiding and lots of room for swimming.
They are considered reef safe “with caution” because they will not bother coral, but will eat other fish and invertebrates.
NOTE: Lionfish have venomous pectoral and dorsal fin spines that will sting you!
To feed a new volitan lionfish, try live feeder shrimp mixed with frozen mysis shrimp. Over time (days to weeks depending on the individual fish), increase the frozen mysis shrimp and decrease the live feeder shrimp until you have cut out the live food entirely. Eventually lionfish should accept a captive diet including fresh or frozen foods such as krill, shrimp, silver-sides, and various prepared sea foods.