Category: Salt Water
Facts about the Ocellated Lionfish, it is a species of scorpion fish.
All in a Name
The scientific name for the Ocellated Lionfish is Dendrochirus biocellatus. It is a member of the Scorpanidae family. It is part of the sub-family Pteroinae.
The Ocellated Lionfish is sometimes known as the Twospot Turkeyfish, Fu Manchu Lion, Nemapterois Biocellata, Two-eyed Lionfish, Twinspot Lionfish, Double-Ocellated Scorpionfish, and Fu Manchu lionfish. In French, it is called Pterois Ocellé.
Most of these Ocellated Lionfish grow to four inches in length, though the record is just over five inches. This Ocellated Lionfish has red, white, and black vertical stripes on its body. The Ocellated Lionfish have two distinct eye spots or ocelli on their dorsal fins, hence the name Double-Ocellated. The ocelli on the dorsal fin can change color from light grey to black, especially during courtship and dominance fights.
Ocellated Lionfish have fellers on their mouths that extend from the lower draw. Ocellated Lionfish have large, fan shaped pectoral fins. Their dorsal fins are tall, thin and like a reed. Their fins are venomous.
The fins of the Ocellated Lionfish have a poison that stings humans on contact, similar to a wasp sting.
You can tell the Dendrochirus genera from the Pterois because the Dendrochirus species group does not have pectoral fin rays that reach the caudal fin; furthermore, they are branched and connected by a membrane along their length.
During the day, the Ocellated Lionfish stay hidden in caves or swim among sponges for protection from predators if they are in an aquarium. These Ocellated Lionfish are semi-aggressive with other fish in an aquarium and much more aggressive in the wild. They should not share a tank with basslets, cardinals, chromis, clown fish, damsels, dartfish, dragonets or gobies. Use caution when putting them in a tank with other lionfish.
The Ocellated Lionfish are predators. Ocellated Lionfish will eat ornamental shrimp. Ocellated Lionfish prefer to eat live shrimp, live fish, and occasionally crustaceans. You can feed them cut up crustaceans or ghost shrimp packed with flake food. Ocellated Lionfish need a mix of meats to avoid dietary deficiencies. It is reluctant to eat anything but live food, but it can be enticed to eat if the food is dropped in front of it using an aquarium tube.
Ocellated Lionfish are more active at night, when they come out to hunt. As they hunt, they snap their dorsal spines and shake their heads as they approach the prey. Ocellated Lionfish sometimes hop on their pelvic fins on the bottom of the tank or along the reef.
These Ocellated Lionfish prefer clear tropical waters. Ocellated Lionfish do not go below 40 meters or 130 feet in depth. In an aquarium, Ocellated Lionfish need at least 30 gallons or 115 liters for a single fish with many hiding spots as well as open water for swimming. The perfect temperature range is between 72 F and 78 F or 22 C to 22.5 C. They live in salt water aquariums with a pH of 8.1 to 8.4.
The Ocellated Lionfish is found in the Indo-Pacific region. Its southern range ends at the Scott Reef north of Australia north to the southern part of Japan. The Ocellated Lionfish is found from Sri Lanka off India and the Maldives to French Polynesia.
Some people are allergic to the venom in this fish’s spines, which makes it much worse than the wasp sting it feels like.