Miles Lionfish


Fish Type: Lionfish


Scientific Name: Pterois miles


Species: Scorpaenidae

Color: orange, tan
Aggressiveness: Caution Needed
Diet: Carnivore
Max Size: 12"
Minimum Tank Size: 120 gal
Relative Care: Easy
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria


The Miles Lionfish is also known as the, Devil Fish or Devil Firefish. It’s coloration can vary depending on the age and maturity of the fish, displaying a red to burgundy, white, and brown to black vertical stripes along the length of the body. It also has large, fan-like pectoral fins, and tall, banded spines on the dorsal fin. The Miles Lionfish is very similar to the Volitans Lionfish with the exception of their origin as this species is restricted to the Indian Ocean: Red Sea, South Africa, and east to Sumatra. The Miles Lionfish differs from the visually similar Volitan Lionfish, as Miles have fewer spines on its dorsal and anal fins.

The spines on the dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins are venomous, and used solely for defense. If stung, the affect is similar to a bee sting, only stronger. Lionfish venom contains proteins that are broken up by heat, which prevent them from entering the bloodstream. After a sting, remove any broken spines lodged in the wound, and immediately immerse the affected area in the hottest water you can stand (not scalding), for 30 minutes, followed by medical attention. For individuals sensitive to stings, its advisable to seek medical attention immediately.

The Miles Lionfish can grow rapidly to an adult size of 15 inches, and when full grown these fishes should be housed in a 120 gallon or larger aquarium with numerous hiding places. It will hide while acclimating to its new home, but then is generally found out in the open. It may eat smaller fish, shrimp, and other crustaceans in the tank.

When first introduced into the aquarium, live saltwater feeder shrimp should be used to entice this fish to eat. Its diet should include meaty foods such as live shrimp, live fish, and occasionally crustacean flesh. Once fully settled into the aquarium, with some diligence and patience, Miles Lionfish can convert over to consuming a prepared diet consisting of chunks of fresh, uncooked table shrimp, frozen silversides, and pieces of frozen squid.

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