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Clear Lionfish (Pterois Radiata) | by Sharon Emma Photography
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Clear Lionfish (Pterois Radiata)

Pterois radiata, also known as the clearfin lionfish, tailbar lionfish, radiata lionfish or radial firefish, is a carnivorous, ray-finned fish with venomous spines that lives in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. This is the only lionfish species which has spines without any markings. It can also be recognized by the pair of horizontal white stripes on its caudal peduncle.

 

Pterois radiata grows to a length of about 24 cm (9 in) though a more usual size is 20 cm (8 in). The dorsal fin has twelve or thirteen long, venomous spines and ten to twelve soft rays. The anal fin has three spines and five to six soft rays. The large pectoral fins flare out to the side and are clear and unbanded. The other fins are also colourless. The head and body colour is reddish-brown with about six vertical dark bands of different colour on the body separated by thin white lines. There are two white horizontal lines on the caudal peduncle which distinguishes this fish from other similar lionfishes.

 

Pterois radiata is native to the western Indo-Pacific region. Its range extends from South Africa and the Red Sea to Indonesia, the Society Islands, the Ryukyu Islands, northern Australia and New Caledonia. It is found on both inshore and offshore rocky reefs at depths down to about 25 m (82 ft). Juvenile fish are sometimes found in tide pools.

 

Pterois radiata is mainly nocturnal. It spends the day hiding in rock crevices, in small caves or under overhangs. It emerges at night to feed on invertebrates such as crabs and shrimps.

 

Photographed on a dive site called Fiddle Garden in the Red Sea, near Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

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Taken on April 20, 2014