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A secretive little lionfish that sports a Fu-Manchu moustache and utilizes some interesting techniques to it capture its food.


Marinelife Learning Center Interesting facts about the TWINSPOT LIONFISH ......
Photo © Scott W. Michael
- Photo © Scott W. Michael

Twinspot Lionfish close-up - Richard Smith photo
(Dendrochirus biocellatus)

This is a secretive little lionfish that exhibits some interesting behavior. It is easily separated from other species in its pride by the eye-spots on the dorsal fin and its Fu-Manchu moustache. The eye-spots may serve to dissuade large fish-eating predators from messing with it. If that does not stop a predator from trying to eat it, the venomous dorsal spines might. That said, scorpionfishes, like the twinspot lionfish, are sometimes eaten by sharks, morays and frogfishes. This species is typically solitary and often hangs upside down in deeper crevices and caves during the daytime hours. At night it moves into open areas to hunt. The twinspot lionfish will snap its dorsal spines and shake its head from side-to-side as it approaches its prey. It may be that this behavior serves to distract, or possibly attract, the prey item. It often stalks its quarry by slinking along the bottom or around reef structure like a cat, and moves forward, either by "hopping" on its pelvic fins or by undulating its tail. When it is about one-half a body length away from its prey, it lunges forward with amazing speed to ingest it.

Other interesting species in the scorpionfishes family.


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