[Coral-List] Largest Lionfish ever?

Ian Zink izink at rsmas.miami.edu
Fri May 22 11:04:02 EDT 2015

Lionfish were reported to first appear (in the scientific literature) in 
Atlantic in 1985 off Dania, Florida:

Maximum age could be up to 30 years:

Given those two pieces of evidence, and the complications related to 
'natural predation' of lionfish in the Atlantic (i.e., how likely could 
a lionfish survive to maximum age/length?), I'd suggest that some big 
fat individuals could be growing, and surviving, in Florida waters 
simply because they've been here the longest.  I'd have to do more 
research on the length/age to know approximately how old this large 
individual was, but in the end, it could be just that lionfish have been 
in Florida longer, and thus have more of chance to get that big, 
relative to other locations where their introduction is more recent.  
Someone else would have to chime in who knows more on the ecology of 
lionfish to give a better answer as to whether or not Florida is better 
habitat than other locations.

on an interesting note - the first introduction into Atlantic was 30 
years ago - which coincides with the approximate age reported.

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On 5/21/2015 2:53 PM, Lane W wrote:
> I'm wondering if lionfish are proliferating even more so in the Florida
> waters then in other places. Based on the size it would seem they are.
> Do any of the Coral Listers know of a size chart for lionfish?
> Any recent counts?
> http://www.flmrg.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=446
> Capt. Jimmy Nelson got quite the surprise when targeting lionfish while
> shooting a segment off Islamorada for his show Extreme Fishing Adventures:
> a HUGE lionfish! The large lion measured in at 18.75 inches or 477 mm,
> which according to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation is the
> largest lionfish they have officially measured.
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