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The 9 or 10 species of the fish genus Pterois have a pair of fan-shaped pectoral fins and a spiky first dorsal fin. The dorsal, anal and pelvic fin spines are all highly venomous, unlike the pectoral and caudal fins which contain no spine.
Hovering above hard coral
The venom is pretty potent, and a lionfish sting constitutes a serious health emergency. Symptoms of envenomation include intense throbbing, sharp pain, tingling sensations, sweatiness and blistering. Worst case scenarios, though not normally fatal to humans, include headache, nausea, abdominal pain, delirium, seizures, paralysis of limbs, changes in blood pressure, breathing difficulties, heart failure and tremours, pulmonary edema, and loss of consciousness.