Order:   Scorpaeniformes
Family:  Scorpaenidae
Genus:  Pterois

Pterois volitans:
Red lionfish are clad in white stripes alternating with red, maroon, or brown. Adults can grow as large as 17 inches in length while juveniles may be shorter than 1 inch. They have fleshy tentacles which protrude from above the eyes and below the mouth. The pectoral fin is present in a distinctive fan-like shape, and dorsal spines are long and separated. They have a total of 13 dorsal spines with 10-11 dorsal soft rays. They have 3 anal spines, with 6-7 anal soft rays.  Their scales are cycloid and vary in color usually in relation to habitat. Coastal species are generally darker sometimes almost black in estuaries. 

The red lionfish has greatly elongated dorsal-fin spines. The membranes of all fins are often spotted. The body is white or cream coloured red to reddish-brown vertical stripes. The vertical stripes alternate from wide to very thin (with the thin stripes being more numerous) and sometimes merge along the flank to form a V-shape.
Dead or Sautéed in Butter!
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Red Lionfish
(Pterois volitans)
Recent genetic work has revealed that the Atlantic population of lionfish is comprised primarily of red lionfish with a smaller number of devil firefish.  Red lionfish inhabit lagoons and seaward reefs from turbid inshore areas to depths of 50 meters. They hide in unexposed places at daytime often with head down and practically immobile. They hunt small fishes, shrimps, and crabs at night, using their widespread pectorals trapping prey into a corner, stunning it and then swallowing it in one sweep. Published records of natural predators of the adult red lionfish are unknown.