[Coral-List] Lion fish consumption

Randi Rotjan randi.rotjan at tufts.edu
Mon May 23 16:23:12 EDT 2011

To add some additional anecdotal data to the story:

We have just returned from Carrie Bow Caye, Belize, where we dissected 11
lionfish. Stomach contents included shrimp (many), but also included:

1 stomatopod (!), a small serranid (probably a hamlet?), a Harlequin bass, a
long-spined squirrelfish, and a dusky squirrelfish. We also observed an
elongate, unidentified prey fish that was ~2/3 the length of the lionfish
predator, and a small unidentified fish with a damsel-like body shape. In
both cases, the fishes were too far digested to accurately ID using crude
visual assessment.

Only 2/11 lionfish had empty stomachs. (NOTE: we did not keep track of
time-of-day killed; which is likely to have a major influence on stomach
contents). 3/11 lionfish had only shrimp in their stomachs (no fish).

We did not observe any instances of other fishes consuming or attacking


Randi Rotjan, Peter Gawne, Jay Dimond, Scott Jones, Zach Foltz, and Walter

On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 07:01, Belize Marine TREC <trec at hotmail.com> wrote:

> We have been spearing Lionfish almost daily since last year in Belize.
> We have offered them to snapper, grouper and morays and have
> had no success in getting these fish to consume them.  When left
> on the bottom wrasses pick at them.  That is our experience so far.
> Also, our limited stomach content analysis has revealed only shrimp.
> KC Mattes
> www.BelizeMarineTREC.com <http://www.belizemarinetrec.com/>
Randi D. Rotjan, Ph.D.
New England Aquarium, Edgerton Research Laboratory
Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to
brighten it everywhere. --Isaac Asimov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list