We’ve all read about the intense lionfish invasion of the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and the extremely adverse effects the fish have had on those delicate ecosystems, but this is one of the few times we get to see how these very effective predators hunt down their unsuspecting prey. In a recent study done by researchers at Oregon State University and SUNY at Stoney Brook and published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series, the invading lionfish were shown to not only hunt with the traditional lay-in-wait strategy, but they actually shot streams of water at their unsuspecting meals. The jets of water, which can clearly be seen in the video above, are thought to be a mechanism by which lionfish can disorient their prey and make capture far easier. This water puffing behavior has never before been documented in lionfish, or any other predator for that matter, and the study showed that juveniles were more likely to use this technique. It was also revealed that Pacific lionfish were also more prone to using the water puffing than their invasive Atlantic counterparts. Researchers assume that Atlantic lionfish face less competition and therefore don’t need to waste extra energy capturing their prey.
Source: The Blaze via Jeff from Aquatic Interiors Unlimited, LLC