Physical Characteristics

Reaches 13.8 in (35 cm) maximum length. One of the most easily recognized of all marine fishes. The most striking features of the red lionfish are its banded (reddish to black) head and body and its unique pectoral configuration. The long, flowing pectoral rays have varying degrees of connecting membranes, giving them the distinctive appearance of separate threadlike projections. The dorsal and anal fins are covered with dark rows of spots on a clear to yellowish background. All of the non-pelvic spines—these include the pectoral, anal, and dorsal spines—are venomous.

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