Pterois, commonly known as lionfish, is a genus of venomous marine fish found mostly in the indo-pacific. Pterois is characterized by conspicuous warning coloration with red, white, creamy or black bands showy pectoral fins and venomous spiny fin rays. The potency of their venom makes them excellent predators and poisonous to fishermen and divers. In humans, the venom can cause systemic effects such as extreme pain, vomiting, fever, convulsions and breathing difficulties. Their venom is rarely fatal to healthy humans, but some species have enough venom to produce extreme discomfort for a period of several days.
Two of the nine species of pterois, the red lionfish (P. volitans) and the common lionfish (P. miles), have established themselves as significant invasive species of the east coast of the us and in the Caribbean. Studies show that lionfish could be decreasing Atlantic reef diversity by up to 80%.
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