ALIEN #16 – Larval lionfish ~12mm long.
Perhaps the only thing more beautiful than a lionfish, with it’s flowing, finger-like, venomous spines…..is a larval lionfish! Whereas I originally misidentified this as a tripodfish, the dorsal spines conclusively prove it to be of the family Scorpaenidae. I have not tested the potency of it’s venom yet (using my patented “lick-test”), but I’d assume it’d be just as painful as an adult’s sting.
**Thanks to Susan Mears and biologist Benjamin Victor for correcting my classification! Upon being corrected, I was equal parts bummed that I had, in fact, NOT found the very rare tripodfish, and super-excited to have unknowingly found my first larval lionfish! Ocean giveth, and ocean taketh away