Banded coral shrimp are a favorite food item among red lionfish

The red lionfish is a predator that consumes shrimps, small fishes, and crabs. They are considered ambush hunters, so they will wait and watch their prey and wait for a sudden burst of movement before striking. Prey are pursued and cornered by the outstretched and expanded pectoral fins of the red lionfish when it is in full ambush mode. The prey are then eventually acquired with a rapid snap of the jaws and swallowed whole. Cannibalism in Pterois volitans has been observed in the wild as well as for the closely related Pterois miles in captivity.

The red lionfish is considered to be a nocturnal species since it tends to retreat to areas of hiding during the day. On the other hand, studies have been conducted that have shown red lionfish to eat during the day, and then retreat into hiding after a meal.

Red lionfish, like most fish, have a two-chambered heart in which a single-loop circulatory pattern carries blood from the heart to the gills and then to the rest of the body.

To find out about the mating habits of lionfish, visit the Reproduction link.