Look, Don’t Touch

The Venomous Lionfish

Look, Don't Touch Lionfish

Look, Don’t Touch –10″ x 8″ Acrylic on Canvas

With 18 spines, each filled with venom, you do not want to pet this fancy fish. Keep reading to learn some amazing information about lionfish. Introducing the subject of my new painting, “Look, Don’t Touch.”

The Lionfish is a venomous marine fish, although this fish is venomous, it is not poisonous, and many people enjoy it with their sushi. You may think the fish is too bony to eat, but some grow to 18 inches and are not really bony at all. Otherwise known as the zebrafish, firefish, turkeyfish, tastyfish, or butterfly-cod, this beautiful fish should be handled with care.

Capture This Original Painting

This 10” x 8” acrylic painting will be available during the 3rd Annual Artistic Souls Gallery Holiday event on December 7th! If you are interested in bidding on this painting, save the date, and visit the Artistic Souls Gallery Facebook page here! There you can also discover new art from other wonderful featured ASG member artists!

More About This Magnificent Creature

The venom lays inside the spine, the spine imitating something like a needle, and when it has to stick its spine into something, the skin moves back as the spine goes into the target, this makes it almost impossible for predators to get close to this fish, this is a problem, these fish are reproducing but there are no predators to eat them. No ones quite 100% sure what eats the lionfish, because nothing can get past their spines, but some scientists think the groupers, snapper eels, and sharks were meant to eat this fish, or if they could get past the spines they would.

The diet of the lionfish consists of many small fish and juvenile fish. They can eat 9/10 of all the small fish in a coral reef, messing up the entire ecosystem there, a reason why so many people want to get rid of them. These fish eat so many fish daily, that it threatens the native fish and their environments.

The lionfish are native in the South and Pacific Ocean, but live in the coral reefs of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. Because of the problems the fish bring with them, people are trying to get rid of these fish, and take them back to where they belong. Years of killing these fish to get them out has endangered their species, and there are still lionfish destroying coral reefs. This is a difficult situation since it is almost impossible to get all the lionfish back where they came from without killing them, or taking an impossibly long journey, with all the fish, which probably will not survive. It’s a problem of endangering the lionfish species or endangering all the native fish that live in those coral reefs.

This beautiful fish should be only looked at from a distance. Not many deaths come from the lionfish, but the fish can cause some serious pain if you were to get stung by one. Some side effects could be, swelling, redness, sweating, tingling, and muscle weakness. This is without having an allergic reaction, if you are allergic to the venom and you get stung, you could go into shock, suffer from shortness of breath, and get a fever. Do not try to get close to this fish if you see it in the wild and get photos from a distance. If you want to see a lionfish up close, you can go to an aquarium. Many aquariums house the invasive lionfish instead of killing them. It’s safe and the fish don’t have to be removed or killed.


Elizabeth Subic

Limited-Edition Prints Available


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