The Zebra Lionfish's striking colouration is a "warning" to potential predators that the species has poisonous dorsal fin spines. The species is widely distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific.
The Zebra Lionfish can be distinguished by a combination of characters including its long pectoral and dorsal fins, its colouration, the number of scales in the lateral lineand the number of pectoral fin rays. The striking colouration is a "warning" to potential predators that this species has poisonous dorsal fin spines.
The Zebra Lionfish is widely distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is found from Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north, and south to Sydney, New South Wales.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Danger to humans
The species has poisonous dorsal fin spines.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.