This image of a lionfish (Pterois volitans) was taken by NOAA photographer Julie Bedford. The venomous species is famous for the sharp spines along its fins. These spines produce a strong toxin that can cause extreme pain, headaches, vomiting, and breathing difficulties. This makes the lionfish virtually immune from predators. The vertical red and white stripes allow the fish to blend in among corals and sea fans. The red lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific region and grows to a maximum length of 18 inches (47 centimeters).
Julie Bedford, NOAA PA
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