Beautiful but excruciating

A prowling Common Lionfish

The visibility was lacking, but I caught this lionfish out stalking. They are solitary, predatory fish that aren’t common but usually can be spotted resting on or against the reef once or twice on a dive.

The fish has a wide of array of spined fins which deliver a powerful and horribly painful toxin, like all members of their family, Scorpaenidae. It’s not deadly but the pain can last for hours, according to divers who have been unfortunate enough to brush up against a lionfish.

During the day, they often park themselves motionless. When swimming in the open, they usually move slowly and deliberately, sometimes hovering (as above) in odd positions.

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