Also know as the devil firefish, the common lionfish is native to the western Indo-Pacific and is one of 12 known lionfish species. It is easily identified by the red, white, yellow and black vertical stripes that cover its body, and its fan-like dorsal and pectoral spines.
These spines are highly venomous and potentially fatal to humans, perhaps explaining why the common lionfish’s Latin name translates at “winged soldier”. Unsurprisingly, the common lionfish has very few natural predators, although they sometimes exhibit cannibalism. Their position at the top of the food chain has made them a problem in areas where they have been accidentally introduced as an invasive species, specifically in the waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.