Bluefin Lionfish

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Parapterois heterura - (Bleeker, 1856)
Bluefin Lionfish

This species is unusual among the members of this subfamily in that it often partially buries itself under fine substrate. Scott W. Michael


The care of this sporadically available species is somewhat of an enigma. Most kept in captivity do not live long. It is known as a very poor shipper (not handling stress well), and so it is often difficult to find a healthy specimen.

Family: Scorpaenidae

Other common name(s):

  • Blackfoot Lionfish
  • Blackfoot Firefish

Native range:

Habitat: In the wild, P. heterura are usually found at temperatures of less than 74°F [23°C].) Aquarists tend to keep them at higher water temperatures than they are accustomed to.

Maximum length: 23 cm (9 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)


Feed marine fish and crustacean flesh. Live, gut-packed ghost shrimp may be needed to initiate feeding. Feed several times a week.

Aquarium Compatibility

This species will eat crustaceans and small benthic fishes.


This species performs an odd behavior when threatened: spinning in circles with its head raised.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM