[Coral-List] Lion fish question

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Tue Apr 23 11:05:19 EDT 2013

Unfortunately, trigger fishes are considered great eating so they are pretty much fished out too on Caribbean reefs.

Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Professor of Marine Biology
Center for Marine Science and Dept of Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina Wilmington
5600 Marvin Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409 USA
tel:  910-962-2362  fax: 910-962-2410  cell: 910-200-3913

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of mtupper
Sent: Monday, April 22, 2013 4:29 PM
To: BRUCE CARLSON; Steve Mussman
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Lion fish question

I'm no lionfish expert, but I have worked with groupers for 30 years and never seen one eat a lionfish, nor found lionfish in any of their stomachs (in either the Atlantic or their native range). A brief Internet search and a chat with a couple of the major aquarium fish distributors here suggest that juvenile lionfish are preyed on by triggerfish and angelfish, which bite off the spines first and then pick the lionfish apart, much the same way that many reef fish eat sea urchins. Apparently this has been witnessed both in the wild and in aquaria. When I lived in Palau, one local spearfisherman told me that both titan and yellowmargin triggerfish would attack and kill lionfish that strayed to close to the triggers' nests. I can't vouch for the validity of the info as it's anecdotal, and picking the spines of a mobile lionfish would much more difficult than eating a sea urchin, but I've stranger things happen....


Dr. Mark Tupper
Coastal Resources Association
207-10822 City Parkway, Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 0C2 www.coastal-resources.org
Email: mtupper at coastal-resources.org
Tel. 1-604-588-1674; Mobile: 1-604-961-2022

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