The red lionfish has acquired a few adaptations that help it in its environment. One adaptation is its red and white striped coloring across its entire body. As mentioned before, lionfish like to reside in coral reefs, so the coloration of its body helps it camouflage in its habitat. This assists in prey capture and protection from other predators. Along with the coloration aspect, it has also acquired the ability to remain practically motionless in the water which enhances its ability to stay camouflaged.

Another adaptation of the lionfish is the venom glands located at the base of certain fin spines. Venom is a toxin secrected by some animals such as the Cottonmouth Snake and Blue-spot Stingray.The venom from the glands may be delivered by spines of the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins and is known to cause a serious reaction in humans. This adaptation is not for capturing prey however, but rather used against predators. Lionfish do not have many, if any predators, except for humans which results in rapid reproduction rates.

There are also no known parasites, which leaves more energy and time for growth and reproduction. In fact, if a lionfish is infected by a parasite for some reason, they have the ability to shed their own skin to remove the parasite!

As mentioned before, red lionfish can readily adapt to a wide variety of temperatures ranging from 60°F to 90°F. This along with the tremendous array of habitats, allow lionfish to adapt to scores of environments.

As one can see, the red lionfish has remarkable defenses, feeding capabilities, habitat tolerances, and adaptations which make it an almost indestructible species. This poses a huge concern in that the lionfish could become an invasive species. An exponential increase in populations of the lionfish has already been witnessed along the Atlantic coast; therefore, scientists are keeping a close watch on the species.

To find out where the lionfish lives go to the Habitat page