PDA

View Full Version : What keeps lionfish in check in the indo-pacific?


ReeferKimberly
07/13/2013, 06:38 PM
What competes with or eats them (I am thinking nothing really eats them), or kills them to keep them in check in the indo-pacific that is missing in the Caribbean?

Someone recently asked me and I could not answer off the top of my head. Why are they ok there and not in the Caribbean? I would like to be able to answer, thought you guys would know, thanks!

I can't think of anything besides perhaps parasites and diseases that are just not present in the Caribbean?

WuHT
07/13/2013, 07:21 PM
good question.

Probably larger groupers.

I suspect that larger triggers and angels may also harass a lionfish's long fins.

xrayjeeper83
07/13/2013, 07:32 PM
I've wondered the same thing before. Be watching this thread

Goss
07/13/2013, 07:43 PM
“no known natural predators” is common in lionfish fact sheets and reports.

“People suspect that goliath grouper would eat lionfish,” said Michael Parsons, professor of marine science at FGCU. “We went out to Edison Reef and Doc Kline Barge Tuesday to look for lionfish. We didn’t see any, but we did see plenty of goliaths.

“The thought was maybe the goliaths are eating the lionfish. It’s a question of whether they’re really doing it.”

For a 2011 study, researchers surveyed grouper and lionfish along a chain of reefs in the Bahamas, including in a marine reserve where fishing is forbidden.
Within the reserve, the population of groupers was high, while the population of lionfish was low, indicating groupers might be depleting the lionfish population in those areas.

ReefKeeper64
07/13/2013, 08:35 PM
A few months back I saw a video of a shark eating a lionfish in Caribbean waters. It was a story about possible natural predators starting to take on the lionfish. I just did a search and there are a bunch of videos on youtube showing it. Happy Reefing!

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=shark+eats+lionfish&oq=shark+eats+lionfish&gs_l=youtube.3..0.1502.6002.0.7225.19.11.0.3.3.0.679.3880.2-6j2j1j2.11.0...0.0...1ac.1.11.youtube.S4Ua6du3drI

xrayjeeper83
07/13/2013, 09:22 PM
Some of those videos looked like the divers were trying to teach the sharks and eels to eat lion fish. The dead lyin in a spear and the diver making it dance to get a eel to attack, and lion fish in a cage to get sharks going nuts

trae
07/13/2013, 09:59 PM
We know that lion fish have no "known" predators. They thrive in warm water, but are now reported by anglers as far north as The Carolina's. I cant see a large predator
choosing a challenge such as the lion fish over an easier choice of prey.

Iammatt219
07/13/2013, 10:14 PM
I believe many eels will eat lion fish, once they figure out how.

leveldrummer
07/13/2013, 10:22 PM
Its possible that the reason that the lions are doing so well here is that they fish they eat dont know how to deal with them. When a food source is abundant, populations explode. and when you introduct a predator that none of the local fish understand, the fish can basically eat as much as it wants. this leads to over population too. this could be a factor, im not saying it is. but it could be.

one clownfish
07/16/2013, 06:22 AM
By the way the green moray and nurse sharks eat those lionfish it might not be long before there's a huge increase in their populations. In Every video the green moray doesn't care which direction he takes them.

Pastey
07/16/2013, 06:30 AM
Recent article about deep water lionfish posed this question. I have no theories but I hope it's something they can put together pretty quick.

Timfish
07/16/2013, 01:48 PM
Don't know that this is very relevant but I saw a tank that had about a foot long lionfish that would stayed upside down at the surface with it's dorsal spine spread apart and alternating at about an 80 or 90 degree angle. Reason was there was a much bigger Miniatus grouper that would go after it every chance it could. I gotta wonder if we wouldn't be having this problem if the apex predators hadn't been over fished?

SOCOMMike
07/16/2013, 02:04 PM
Well, naturally, man is their predator -- that's a definite. Here in Florida we eat them. (Which kind of breaks my heart since my first marine fish was a lionfish.)

r-balljunkie
07/16/2013, 08:11 PM
i dont see lionfish very often diving. if i do see them its singular and its usually pretty darn deep (relatively speaking) 130'-140' and not too big (under 12")

there's some hot spots to see them.........but generally speaking dont run into them a lot.

wii64brawl
07/16/2013, 08:31 PM
I gotta wonder if we wouldn't be having this problem if the apex predators hadn't been over fished?
This sounds about right. I went snorkeling in FL a few times a few years ago and went diving in Mexico twice over the past two years. All I can say is that the biggest fish I saw were some schools of jacks. None over a foot.

mkj
07/18/2013, 10:39 PM
many sharks eat lionfish, its just lionfish aren't a sharks first choice.

mkj
07/18/2013, 10:41 PM
lately, the food industry has been trying to get lionfish as a consumer good. If it works, then answer to your question will be people.

Luiz Rocha
07/18/2013, 11:10 PM
What keeps them in check in their native range is a combination of things (some of which already mentioned in this thread). Here are the most important:

1) Indo-Pacific fish evolved with the Lionfish, they know they are an effective predator and stay away. Caribbean fish are naive in comparison, so Lionfish there eat more, get bigger and grow faster.

2) The Indo-Pacific is a much more diverse ecosystem. The Lionfish competes not only with many other predators, but also with other species of Lionfish with a very similar diet.

3) Even though an adult Lionfish will rarely be eaten by something, predation on juvenile Lionfish is much greater in the Indo-Pacific.

So there you have it, to me those are the three most important factors that keep Lionfish in check in their native range.

thelostrican
07/18/2013, 11:38 PM
As Luis mentioned the problem its that Caribbean fish have never been subjected to this animal, so they haven't evolved to counter it, so they are easy pray to the lion fish..

immokalee98
07/19/2013, 10:17 AM
Sharks and groupers eat them. My coworker just got back from diving in the caribbean and showed a video of their dive captain spearing multiple lionfish and the groupers were snatching them up.

immokalee98
07/19/2013, 10:19 AM
Mike, I'm a native Floridian from Fort Lauderdale and I've never eaten a lionfish (knowingly!). Were you at a restaurant when you ate it?

jcdeng
07/19/2013, 10:48 AM
they can grow and populate all they want, but eventually, humans will become the lionfish's natural predator. "lionfish sashimi" anyone?

hossa81
07/19/2013, 09:03 PM
Larger scorpion fish will eat lions.

Luiz Rocha
07/20/2013, 01:02 AM
Sharks and groupers eat them. My coworker just got back from diving in the caribbean and showed a video of their dive captain spearing multiple lionfish and the groupers were snatching them up.

There is a huge difference between a grouper/shark eating a dead or speared lionfish and a grouper/shark actually hunting one. A large predator (like a grouper/shark) will eat almost anything you offer it if it's dead. Hunting it alive is an entirely different matter. There are no reports of sharks/groupers actively hunting and eating live lionfish in the Caribbean yet.

To make things worse, offering dead or speared lionfish to those predators is only making things work. In places where people do this (offer dead lionfish) often, the predators are becoming used to having hand-outs to a point where they harass divers when no lionfish is offered.

Wolverine
07/20/2013, 04:55 PM
As mentioned, I've seen videos of sharks, groupers, and larger scorpionfishes eat lionfishes.

I've also seen pics of large anglers eating smaller lionfishes.

billsreef
07/22/2013, 10:23 AM
Not a peer reviewed article, but interesting nevertheless. It's a review of 2 papers on the subject of grouper predation on lionfish in the Caribbean.

https://peerj.com/preprints/45/

Luiz Rocha
07/22/2013, 11:16 PM
As mentioned, I've seen videos of sharks, groupers, and larger scorpionfishes eat lionfishes.

I've also seen pics of large anglers eating smaller lionfishes.

I would love to see any of those, especially if it is natural predation and not a diver offering dead Lionfish. Can you PM me some of the links? Thanks!

wii64brawl
07/22/2013, 11:45 PM
Best known video I think of frogfish predating on lionfish.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUNhQ-uF3T4

Luiz Rocha
07/23/2013, 12:36 AM
Haha, nice one! Doesn't seem like the frogfish liked it too much...

Wolverine
07/23/2013, 11:45 AM
I would love to see any of those, especially if it is natural predation and not a diver offering dead Lionfish. Can you PM me some of the links? Thanks!

I'll look around to see if I can find any of them. It was years ago.

TruReef
07/23/2013, 11:54 AM
They have predators here too....
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2216999

Wolverine
07/23/2013, 12:05 PM
They have predators here too....
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2216999


The last post in that thread is :lol: for multiple reasons.