Russel’s Lionfish


Fish Type: Lionfish


Scientific Name: Pterois russelli


Species: Scropaenidae

Color: red, tan
Aggressiveness: Caution Needed
Diet: Carnivore
Max Size: 14"
Minimum Tank Size: 70 gal
Relative Care: Easy
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria


The Russell’s Lionfish is also known as the Red Volitans, Spotless, or Soldier Lionfish; Largetail or Military Turkeyfish; and Plaintail Firefish. It is tan with light brown vertical stripes. The spines on the dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins are fleshy, and not banded like those of other lionfish.

The spines on the fins are poisonous, and if you are stung, the reaction will be similar to a bee sting only a little stronger.

The Russell’s Lionfish requires a 70 gallon or larger aquarium with numerous hiding places. It is a very hardy fish and generally peaceful, except towards other lionfish. It may eat tank mates including ornamental shrimp and small fish.

Feeding may be difficult until the fish is acclimated to the tank; feeding live shrimp or feeder fish may be helpful. Once acclimated, the Russell’s Lionfish will eat meaty foods including the flesh of fish and crustaceans.

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