Pterois Voltans Case Study

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Pterois voltans: interesting marine life or causer of potential devastating effects? Invasive species are one of the many issues in the world. Invasive species are commonly thought of as either bugs or plants that are spreading and causing damage to either plants, other foliage, or the other organisms that inhabit that area. Marine life is not typically the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of an invasive species. Pterois voltans, commonly referred to as the lionfish, have been added to the invasive species list. Lionfish are very difficult to remove from their newly found home once they are established. Pterois voltans find an abundance of preferred prey in the new area, a lack of predators in the same community and surrounding …show more content…
Lionfish have the ability to produce offspring at high rates where females can lay between ten thousand to forty thousand eggs in one spawning event. Their ability to reproduce in such large numbers contributes to their ability to disperse throughout the reefs without harm and establish the species in more areas (Cote et al. 2013). A juvenile lionfish can be as small as one inch, while an adult can grow up to be eighteen inches. Lionfish are also well at adjusting to living conditions. They can survive shallower or deeper water, and in water with a higher salt concentration or in water that is a little less salty. Lionfish have rays and venomous spines that cover a majority of the fish’s body, giving the lionfish protection and a form of self-defense from may angles. Lionfish exclusively use their spines in self-defense opposed to offensively. A lionfish’s long spines are one of their defining characteristics. A few other defining characteristic include their deep red or brownish color and white stripes, the tentacles located above their eyes and below their mouths, and their enchanting fins. The lionfish’s body makeup is great advantage when they are trying to attract or lure their prey (Rocha et al. …show more content…
Not many marine organisms are able to successfully attack or consume a lionfish. Lionfish have rays and venomous spines that cover a majority of the fish’s body, giving the lionfish protection and a form of self-defense from may angles. This means that the lionfish will be able to out compete any threat that it faces in the new habitat. In attempt to assist in the issue of the Pterois voltans invasion, people are attempting to extract or relocate the lionfish. However, this is a difficult process because the lionfish are still capable of simply going back to the reef if relocated. One solution to the invasion is the hunting of Pterois voltans. Divers go down into the reefs and try to spear the lionfish. This is also difficult because they diver needs to have a clear shot at the lionfish so they don’t do any further damage to the reef. If a lionfish is found but is in an inopportune location, the divers are forced to let that lionfish stay there and try to find another. When a lionfish is in an ideal location, the diver can then use spear to impale the fish and then carefully place it into a container. The divers need to be very careful during this process because the lionfish are still capable of stinging and causing pain to the diver. The lionfish are then often used as a food source to humans (Robertson et al. 2014). Other than this method of extraction, there

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