Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lionfish

I saw Lionfish in Panama, and unfortunately, they are invasive there and not endemic, so when found, people kill them.  I understand that this has to happen - they don't have natural predators and they are harmful to endemic species.  But it is still a tragedy to see them killed and I won't forget the sick feeling of seeing our guide stab one with a spear when it was found.  UG.

In Raja Ampat, lionfish are where they are supposed to be!  I saw both black and white and gorgeous bright red lionfish.  Here is the black and white one - it was a bit deep so photos aren't the best.

 
 

The red lionfish was a bit easier to see and a tad larger I think.

 

Lionfish have venom in their "spines" which are really dorsal fins, and supposedly it is exceedingly painful to humans and can cause severe nausea.  Both of these fish were comfortably a few feet beneath me.  They are very beautiful when they are flared out.  I saw them several times at various sites in Raja Ampat but these were the first two.

Here's a professional shot of a red lionfish from National Geographic.  My photos aren't as good but I prefer to see wildlife in the wild vs. in a documentary any day.

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