The Invasive Lionfish

Kudzu of the Caribbean (and Eastern Seaboard of the US)

Basic information

The Caribbean, Bahamas, Gulf of Mexico, and the entire eastern seaboard from Rhode Island to Venezuela have been invaded by the voracious and venomous lionfish (Pterois miles and P. volitans). This south-Pacific fish, popular amongst marine aquarists because of it's beauty and hardiness, escaped or was released into the waters of Florida, from where they have spread like Kudzu. They are efficient predators, very hardy, have few predators, and multiply quickly. They threaten ecosystems and economies with their voracious appetites. In some regions, including the North Carolina coast, they outnumber all native grouper species (with which lionfish compete) except Scamp (Mycteroperca phenax). What will be the effect of the invasive lionfish? What is being done, and what could be done, to minimize the impact of these dangerous aliens?


Who we are

This information was gathered and organized by a group of NC State University College of Ag and Life Sciences Honors students as part of a project in ALS 398 in the Spring of 2012.

  • Christine Zabel
  • Carolina Caro
  • Katherine Cassady
  • Noelle Dalhouse
  • Kayla Dennis
  • Kylie Glisson
  • Paige Harrelson
  • Marissa Herchler
  • Hannah Howard
  • Jenna Montminy
  • Patrick McCarthy
  • Brittany Bellis
  • Rocco Colucci
  • Lauren Cates
  • Maxwell Pote
  • Faculty mentor : James W. Brown (Department of Microbiology) :
  • Awareness poster : Jennifer Gough