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Red Lionfish, what to do if you get stung by its spines

The red lionfish (Pterois volitans, also known as scorpionfish) is a saltwater fish that is widespread in places such as the Red Sea, Pacific Ocean, and Southeast Asia.

In recent years, the red lionfish has also been accidentally introduced to other places that are not its native habitat, so it is not uncommon to find it along the coasts of the United States or in the Mediterranean Sea.

One of its main characteristics are its venomous spines, which the fish puts upright when in a dangerous situation. What to do in case you are stung?

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Where to find the red lionfish
The red lionfish (Pterois volitans, also known as scorpionfish) is a saltwater fish that is widespread in places such as the Red Sea, Pacific Ocean, and Southeast Asia. In recent years, the red lionfish has also been accidentally introduced to other places that are not its native habitat, so it is not uncommon to find it even along the coasts of the United States or in the Mediterranean Sea.
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Physical characteristics
The physical characteristics of the red lionfish revolve around a head that is relatively small compared to the body while, in contrast, the mouth appears to be large. Its eyes are protruding while the belly appears to be flat. Finally, the tail is wide and rounded.
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The venomous spines
The main feature of the red lionfish, however, are the venom spines, which the animal puts upright when in a dangerous situation. Its venom apparatus can rely on 13 spines located on the dorsal fin and three spines in the anal area. All of these hollow spines are then connected to a venom gland.
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What to do in case of a sting
What to do in case you are stung by the venomous spines of red lionfish? The first basic thing to do is to soak the affected area in warm water since doing this helps to soothe the pain and inactivate the toxin. Poisoning triggered by the red lionfish toxin can be of three degrees. The first degree involves erythema, cyanosis or ecchymosis. The second degree appearance of blisters while the third degree the appearance of local necrosis and change in sensitivity. Symptoms may last for a few days. Other effects such as headache, vomiting and nausea, abdominal pain and cramps, and limb paralysis are rare. Rare episodes of death have also been documented.
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A fish prized by marine aquarium enthusiasts
Despite being a species of fish considered dangerous because of its venomous spines, the red lionfish is highly coveted by those who enjoy marine aquariums.
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20/06/2024
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