Here at CayBlog we're always looking to create interesting new post series for you, our readers – and who doesn't love fascinating facts? This week, we did some research into the Lionfish, an invasive species causing a bit of trouble here in our island waters...
The Lionfish was first found at a Little Cayman dive site in early 2008.
The Lionfish is a genus venomous marine fish.
This species is native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans – it is not supposed to call Cayman home!
The Lionfish is impressive in appearance. They appear rather intimidating with spiky fin rays and colorful bands of white, black and red along their bod.
When challenged, Lionfish stand their ground and use their poisonous rays to sting their opponent.
This species has a unique reproductive system not seen in fish native to the Cayman Islands. They produce 30,000 eggs per month and can reproduce at the age of 12 months.
Lionfish are highly predatory and their prey includes young fish, lobster and shrimp. They do not have many native predators.
There are 11 recognized species in the Lionfish genus.
You can spot a juvenile Lionfish by the tentacle situated above their eye socket.
If you get stung by a Lionfish, it is recommended that you soak the wound in hot water for up to 90 minutes. It is important to also seek medical attention.
If you spot a Lionfish in the Cayman Islands, contact the Department of Environment. Do not try to catch the fish.
Lionfish are one of the most aggressive invasive species of fish in the entire world!
Have you ever seen or caught a Lionfish in the Caribbean? Tell us your story in the comments.