Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life of Antennata Lionfish

Life of Sea | Antennata Lionfish (Pterois antennata) | This beautiful fish is also called  Broadbarred Firefish, Ragged-finned Firefish or Spotfin Lionfish. In it natural habitat, they live on coral reefs, lagoon and seaward reefs in tropical marine waters. This species can be found down to a depth of 50 meters / 165 feet, alone or in groups. You can found them in the Indo-Pacific: East Africa to Marquesan and MangarĂ©va islands, north to southern Japan. In Australia, the Antennata lionfish is known from central to north-western Western Australia and from the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef south to northern New South Wales and Indian ocean. They during the night and rests in crevices under rocks and coral formations during the day.

Antennata lionfish has reddish or tan coloured with numerous dark bars body. The median fins are adorned with scattered dark spots. Above the eye, you can see a long tentacle (antennae) with dark banding. Adult fish have bluish-black markings close to the pectoral fin base. The pectoral fins are large and fan-shaped. The dorsal fins are tall and quill-like.

Antennata lionfish has venomous spines in its dorsal, pelvic and anal fins. The spines of the dorsal fin (top), anal fin (bottom), and pelvic fins (front side) are all venomous. Generally a victim will feel immediate intense pain and rapid swelling of the affected area. The stings can cause nausea, breathing difficulties, paralysis, convulsions and collapse and sometimes even death. 

Antennata lionfish is a carnivore species. This fish hides in crevices under rocks and coral formations during the day and hunts at night. Typically, they hunt with head towards the safety of their hide-out or a nearby narrow passage. They feed on shrimps and crabs in the wild. When first introduced into the aquarium, live saltwater feeder shrimp should be used to entice this fish to eat. After acclimating the diet should consist of meaty foods such as live shrimp (including ornamental shrimp), live fish, and sometimes, crustacean flesh. 

Antennata lionfish is a semi-aggressive species. It is considered reef safe with caution. Housing it in an aquarium smaller than 30 gallons / 115 litres is not advisable. Include plenty of suitable hiding spots in the aquarium. In the wild, this fish likes to hide in crevices formed by rocks and corals, and it will need similar hiding spots in the aquarium to feel safe. It can become exceedingly shy and withdrawn when placed in a new aquarium, but if you provide it with plenty of hiding spots it will eventually become braver and braver and spend more time out in the open.

Be very careful during maintenance work in the aquarium, because the spines of Antennata lionfish can deliver a powerful sting. The sting feels similar to being stung by a really powerful wasp. If you are allergic to the venom, you may suffer from a serious reaction. Prompt medical attention should therefore always be sought after an Antennata lionfish sting. Until you receive medical attention, keep the affected area in really hot water.

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