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The Lionfish Invasion!

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An adult lionfish in all its glory

An adult lionfish in all its glory! Note the fan-like pectoral fins and slender, straight dorsal spines. (Photo credit: John Randall; U.S. Geological Survey)

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Related Links

Lionfish-A New Invasive Species for the East Coast

This is the central Web site for information about the ongoing lionfish research at NOAA's Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina.

Marine Bioinvasions

Here is a wealth of information about marine alien invaders from the MIT Sea Grant Center for Coastal Resources. Follow the links on this page to additional resources on marine introductions, including information on ballast water, aquaculture, rapid assessment surveys, and so on. is the gateway to Federal and state government efforts concerning invasive species. On this site you can learn about the impacts of invasive species and the Federal government's response, as well as select species profiles. There are also links to agencies and organizations dealing with invasive species issues.

ESCAPE-Exotic Species Curriculum for Agricultural Problem-solving Education

This site allows students to play the role of scientist and to test various hypotheses about alien invaders. It also provides information on what makes alien invaders successful in their new habitats. After learning about them, students become an active participant in reducing the impact of alien species by learning how to tell a native thistle from an exotic one. Includes quizzes!


Exotic Introductions

This is a hypertextbook used in an online University of California-Irvine course. It provides an excellent introduction to exotic (or alien) species, information on exotic plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, a description of their secondary effects, and an explanation of how these species are introduced to new areas.

Environmental Protection Agency's Invasive Species Site

This is the home page of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Web site on invasive species. This Web site has links to many resources on alien species.

Animal Diversity Web-Pterois volitans

This website has a wealth of detailed information about the biology, ecology and classification of the lionfish (Pterois volitans), including photos and movies.

Biological Profiles: Red Lionfish

This website provides a detailed biological profile of the lionfish from the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Lionfish in North Carolina

This website is a chronicle of the original lionfish sightings in the Atlantic Ocean by divers on a charter boat in 2001.


Problems with the Release of Exotic Fish

This Web site explains why you should not release aquarium life, including fish, into natural waters, and suggests alternative means to get rid of unwanted pet fish.

The Problem

Many alien species have "hitched a ride" in the ballast tanks of large ships: This is a concise explanation of how exotic species are introduced to new areas when ships discharge their ballast water.

Nova's Deep Sea Invasion

This Web site features the NOVA television program on the toxic aquarium plant that was accidentally released into the Mediterranean Sea, overwhelming the marine life and threatening to spread worldwide. This "killer alga" could become a serious threat to America's warmest coastlines. The site includes interviews, interactive games, and general background materials on invasive species.

Ecosystem Services Fact Sheet

This fact sheet from the Ecological Society of America is an excellent introduction to the services that ecosystems provide to humans.



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