Pterois antennata (Bloch, 1787)
Spotfin Lionfish

Pterois antennata is probably the most common of the lionfish at Kwajalein. It can be seen often up in ledges and small caves on seaward, pinnacle and lagoon reefs. They emerge from the caves at night to feed, reportedly primarily on shrimp and crabs, but they will also eat small fish, at least in an aquarium. Basic body color is similar to that of Dendrochirus zebra, but P. antennata has round dark spots on the membrane between the rays on the pectoral fins. Also, the pectoral fin rays are longer, extending out well beyond the thin membrane that connects them. Another good indicator of P. antennata is the bright white spot just posterior of the pectoral fin base. You can see these under several common names, including Spotfin Lionfish and Antenna Turkeyfish.

The pectoral fin rays can be white or orange.

The antennae, one just dorsal to each eye, in this species are banded and have little fin-like flaps extending from them. The antennae of P. radiata, which sometimes lives in the same overhangs, are smooth and dark, with a vertical white line.

A typical way to see them: upside down and facing into a ledge.

Just a few more poses.

The bright white spots behind the pectoral fins are visible here.

Created 27 June 2011
Updated 14 October 2012

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