pair of lionfish (#79, added 7 May '98, 106K]
This pair of six-inch lionfish have their fins and venomous spines fanned out in a defensive posture. The venom apparatus consists of thirteen dorsal spines, three anal spines, and two pelvic spines. As with most poisonous sea creatures, they are almost fearless and make little effort to elude the camera. Typically easy to spot, lionfish slowly move just above the reef floor or hover near coral heads or in crevices.

The elaborate fin development and hardiness of lionfish make them favorite saltwater aquarium pets. Voracious predators, lionfish prefer live food such as small fish or shrimp. Care must be taken during hand-feeding of these animals, since their sudden lunge for a morsel of food can easily result in an accidental sting. Though a sting can cause considerable pain, lionfish stings are not considered deadly.

Pterois ? (uncertain of species)