Black Lionfish (#78, added 2 May '98, 56K)

Lionfish or Zebrafish are also known as Turkeyfish for their habit of spreading their fins like a turkey gobbler showing off its plumage, while slowly cruising the reef. This particular variety is commonly known as a Black Lionfish. The attractive, lacy plumage and fearless demeanor of any lionfish might tempt the casual diver to try and caress one-- not a good idea considering the powerful sting that could result. Lionfish are closely related to (also venomous) scorpionfish and deadly stonefish.

Lionfish are normally difficult to maneuver into position for a photo such as this, because of their tendency to point the venomous dorsal spines toward the camera. At night they may be approached from any angle, especially if they are away from the reef and disoriented by bright light. Just wear a wetsuit and watch out for the spines!

Pterois ? (Pterois genus, uncertain of species)