Lionfish, just like other fish, and have dorsal, pelvic, anal and tail fins. Like the popular food fish snapper, lionfish have white meat which is flaky and firm when cooked!
The body of the lionfish is white or cream colored with orange, red, or brown stripes and their pectoral fins resemble wings. Circular ocellae decorate the fins.
In their natural habitat lionfish are commonly found to be as large as 47 cm/18.5 inches in size. The record size in the Atlantic Ocean is 48.8 cm for a fish captured in Florida. The Belize record is 44 cm and is held by Polly Alford founder of Reef CI based in the Sapodilla Cayes, the southernmost section of the Belize Barrier Reef.
Like some fish they also have spines projecting from some of their fins which are used to capture prey and deter predators. In the case of the lionfish, and other members of the Family Scorpaendae, the spines inject toxins. The top and bottom fins of the lionfish have venomous spines. In the red lionfish, Pterois volitans, there are a total of 18 venomous fin spines, 13 in their dorsal fin, 2 in their pelvic fins, and 3 anal fin spines.
Lionfish Spines - CAUTION!
Venom is produced by glands located in grooves on the spines covered with skin. The amount of venom injected into the skin will be proportional to the resulting pain if spines are touched. The spines are thin needle like projections that penetrate human skin quickly and easily.