Mutton snappers can now be added to the growing list of predators (including sharks) that actively prey on the invasive lionfish in Caribbean waters. As reported by CoCo View Resort based out of Roatan, Honduras, Mutton Snappers (Lutjanus analis) are actively hunting lionfish around the resort:
[The above] picture was taken by Brian Hicks at CoCo View Resort the week of August 20th. This Mutton Snapper attacked a perfectly healthy Lionfish while he was taking a picture of it; the Snapper bit the lionfish once, then circled around and attacked a second time and ate the whole fish. The dive masters at CCV have also reported seeing lots of Mutton Snapper that appear to be hunting Lionfish. We have been seeing fewer Lionfish and the one’s we do see are grown, almost no juvenile’s are being seen in our area, we have long believed that something was eating the juveniles and smaller Lionfish. This picture is proof that Mother Nature is helping to find a way to deal with the Lionfish.
This is good news and we hope to hear more stories about other predatory fish preying on this invasive pest.
(via CoCo View Resort)