Alien 16




Alien 16 is a larval lionfish (Pterois volitans) at ~2cm long.
Perhaps the only thing more beautiful than a lionfish, with it’s flowing, finger-like, venomous spines… a larval lionfish!  I have not tested the potency of a larvae’s venom yet (using my patented “lick-test”), but I’d assume it’d be just as painful as an adult’s sting.  I’ve been stung plenty of times, and it’s really not as bad as most wusses say.  Normally, they swim in erratic bursts with their fins pressed up against their bodies, so it took a great deal of patience to wait for this rare pose with the fins outstretched.  I’ve had the invasive species conversation ad nauseum, and I encourage people to remember two facts when discussing the topic: 1) they’re only invasive throughout the Atlantic, so when you see a photo of an adult on the reef, be sure you can identify Atlantic corals in the background before you label it invasive, because you sound like a total noodlehead when the corals in the photo are obviously from the south Pacific, where lionfish belong and are part of a balanced ecosystem. And 2) if it is in the Atlantic, always remember that an invasive species isn’t “evil” or “bad”.  They’re just doing what they’re supposed to do – eating and reproducing.  Humans put them in the Atlantic, and by the very definition, humans are responsible for creating every invasive species on the planet.  Let’s stop blaming the fish, and start educating the culprit.  After all, what’s the most destructive invasive species of all time?

But I digress…. I am always thrilled to encounter a larval stage lionfish, and I’ll photograph them whether in the Atlantic or the Pacific – in a photo like this, you can’t tell the difference.  Maybe I squished it as a destructive invasive after the photo, or maybe I photographed it for 20 minutes and said goodbye and carried on the hunt for other Aliens.  The world will never know!  Either way, their beauty is undeniable.  Whether adults, or larvae, they are without a doubt one of the most stunningly photogenic creatures on the planet, and I’ll rarely pass one by without a few shots.


For printing, we offer the Aliens as squares on either aluminum or canvas, but they are customizable into other shapes if your design plan requires it. You can purchase this luxury wall art online in standard sizes, but if you’d like to discuss a custom crop or size, please contact one of our design consultants at the art gallery.  Perhaps our most popular arrangement for Aliens is a grouping of three of our 15″ x 15″ aluminums, but I encourage you to discuss the size & shape of your project’s wall with one of our design consultants, who will help you develop an amazing contemporary art installation that blurs the lines between natural beauty and scientific fascination.  Alien 16 is available up to a maximum size of 36″.