Common Lionfish (Pterois sp.)

What Do They Look Like?

The lionfish is covered with a stripy pattern which can be red, brown, orange, yellow, black or white. They have long feathery fins which hide their large poisonous spines.

Where Do They Live?

Lionfish usually live on coral reefs, in caves or crevices and especially in shallow waters. They are found all around Australia.

Why Are They Dangerous?

Lionfish have 13 sharp and venomous spines that can produce painful puncture wounds. Their venom causes intense pain and in the worst cases gives you a headache, vomiting, stomach pains and can stop your arms, legs, lungs and heart working properly.

How to Avoid Them?

If you don’t touch, scare or tease a lionfish, it is unlikely to injure you. Lionfish can be aggressive, so if you see one stay a safe distance away from it.

What to Do If You Get Hurt

Put the area, most often a hand or foot, into hot water (as hot as the rescuer can stand with their elbow) and then seek medical assistance.


Common Lionfish Factsheet

Factsheet Booklet