Petrois Volitans also known as the lionfish. The lionfish can live to around 16 years in the wild and lionfish often live longer if looked after well in captivity. There are around 8 different recognised species of lionfish that are found in the Pacific Ocean. The lionfish is natively found in coastal waters around rocky crevices and coral reefs where there are lots of smaller fish for the lionfish to eat and also places for the lionfish to hide.
Here on Koh Tao it is rare to find lionfish but there are a few places where you can see one or two of them such as the dive site junkyard an artificial reef just off the beach at Mae head, at the back of the site there is a table tipped over on its side with 3 benches around it here inside the table stand a baby lion fish stays and is almost always there either sleeping or just resting.
The largest of lionfish can grow to about 15 inches in length, but the average is closer to 1 foot. Lionfish prey on a wide variety of small fish and crustaceans that inhabit the tropical reefs. The lionfish is prey to few predators due to the large size of the lionfish and also the fact that the appearance of the lionfish is very intimating to other animals. The spikes that protrude from the body of the lionfish contain venom that the lionfish uses to defend itself if it is being pursued.
The lionfish although dangerous is a beautiful creature and is not inherently aggressive towards humans, this allows us to view it without much worry and admire just how stunning the lionfish really is. So come to Koh Tao request junkyard for your dive and go see the lionfish in all its glory