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  • Lionfish were accidentally released into the Atlantic from Biscayne Bay Florida in 1992 following hurricane Andrew. Genetic analysis reveals that lionfish in the Caribbean have likely all originated from this population
  • Lionfish in their native waters reproduce once per year, but with the consistent warm temperatures of the Caribbean they reproduce monthly
  • Gelatinous egg masses float to the surface and planktonic larvae drift for up to 40 days before settling, allowing for wide-range distribution by ocean winds and currents
  • Venomous dorsal, ventral, and anal spines prevent local predator fish from consuming lionfish
  • Specialized swim bladder muscles allow lionfish to orient themselves horizontally, vertically, and upside down in the water
  • Lionfish exhibit opportunistic feeding behaviors and in addition to fish, feed on a variety of invertebrates and crustaceans
  • Lionfish are suction feeders that consume their prey whole and are capable of eating creatures up to half their own body size
  • Lionfish population densities in non-native waters have been found to be as much as 15 times higher than in their native waters
  • Studies of lionfish on experimental reefs in the Bahamas have shown a reduction in the recruitment of coral reef fishes by nearly 80 percent