MATTHEW OLDFIELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MATTHEW OLDFIELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lionfish (Pterois volitans). This predator often hunts in packs, using its widespread fins to force prey, mostly smaller fish, into a crevice in coral or rocks, before sucking it into its mouth with a huge gulp. The spines in the fins contain a potent toxin, which deter predators and can deliver a very painful sting. Because of the considerable protection provided by their venomous spines, these fish can be extremely confident and will often follow divers, in particular at night when they use diver's lights to hunt for prey. The lionfish is found throughout reefs in the tropical Indo- Pacific region, and in recent years has been sighted in the Caribbean, probably due to escapees from aquaria. It can reach about 38 centimetres in length. Photographed in Pulau Kapalai, Sabah, Malaysia.
Model release not required. Property release not required.