Diver captures stunning images baby Lionfish0
Underwater peacocks: Baby lionfish smaller than a thumbnail put on a luminous display as they flare out their colourful fins in stunning images captured at night.
- Luminous fish captured at night 100 feet below sea level by diver who was ‘privileged’ to make discovery
- Amazing images show tiny fish each just days old in the Atlantic ocean five miles from the coast of Florida
- Lion fish flare their translucent fins out to show off a magnificent display of colours including blue and yellow
- When lionfish grow up they are extremely venomous and are often found lurking in quiet areas of a reef
Baby lionfish smaller than a thumbnail have been captured fanning out their transluscent fins to display their kaleidoscopic patterns in a set of stunning images.
Steven Kovacs managed to capture the close-up shots of the baby lionfish, each of them just days old, while diving at night off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida.
In the images, the tiny larvae resemble underwater peacocks as they show off their bright coloured patterns including luminous blues, greens and yellows.
The creatures are frequently described as one of the most beautiful and photogenic fish you are likely to come across when scuba diving; but divers are advised to keep their distance due to creatures’ toxic sting.
A sting from the attractive sea life’s spines are extremely painful and can last for days. However, the babies are too small to deliver a venomous sting.
Mr Kovacs, a dentist, spotted the fish five miles off the Palm Beach coast, where he lives.
The 50-year-old discovered the luminous fish 100 feet (30 metres) below sea level and managed to capture the images of the fish, which grow up to become extremely venomous.
Mr Kovacs said: ‘I was looking for lionfish larvae to photograph while diving because I know they are so beautiful.
‘When they flare their fins out in full display, you get to see so many different colours and patterns in each of the larvae.
‘They usually display two types of behaviour when you see them, either they try to swim away very quickly from any lights or they flare their fins out in full display and slowly rotate in a circle.
‘Nobody knows yet why they choose to do either of these things.
‘I feel privileged to have seen them, it is very exciting to see all the different colours.’
Lionfish are often found lurking in quiet areas of a reef or a wreck, they grow up to have a very distinctive striped body, and a series of spines and fins that open up in a magnificent display of flamboyance.
They deliver stings on a defensive basis from their sharp, slender spines.
Symptoms of envenomation include intense throbbing, sharp pain, tingling sensations, sweatiness and blistering.
Symptoms include headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, delirium, seizures, paralysis of limbs, changes in blood pressure, breathing difficulties, heart failure and loss of consciousness.
Females produce up to 2 million eggs per year. Babies hatch in just 2 days and until they are bigger remain relatively near the surface of the water.
Lionfish can be aggressive, even engaging potential threats with a ‘spines forward’ approach.
Basic treatment of a sting includes immersing the afflicted area in hot water to 113 F (45°C). Professional medical attention should then be sought.
The species are not native to Atlantic waters and have very few predators which makes them a problem for conservationalists.
They can cause damage to coral reefs, sea grasses and mangroves and due to their high rate of reproduction and growth, its voracious feeding capacity and lack of predators can cause a reduction in the growth and survival of the native predators.
They are carnivores that feed on small crustaceans and fish, including the young of important commercial fish species such as snapper and grouper.
WHY ARE LIONFISH A PROBLEM IN THE ATLANTIC?
- Many in the marine preservation field are already concerned for the marine life that surrounds the lionfish.
- They are native to the Indo-Pacific but they are now many in Atlantic waters. Scientists believe that this is because of people who initially had them as pets and released them into the sea.
- They are fast reproducing fish that breed faster than native fish, with individual females laying around two million eggs each year.
- Lionfish are aggressive eaters that consume small crustaceans and fish, including the young of important commercial fish species such as snapper and grouper.
- Stomachs of the invasive species can expand up to 30 times their normal volume.
- Their excessive diet has had a drastically negative impact on the coral reef systems in the West Atlantic and Gulf Coast.
- A single lionfish is capable of consuming 80 percent of the young reef fish on small coral reefs within just five weeks of establishing its territory.
- As a direct result of the ecological toll, the destruction of these natural structures poses an economic threat for the 42 million people in the Western Atlantic Basin that make their living from coral reefs.
- If lionfish remain unchecked, coral reef decimation is a sure outcome and will dramatically alter our environment and economy for the worse.
Credit: Planting Peace
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