skip to main content

Sea Life, Animals
& Exhibits

Boney Fish
Click/Touch photo to view enlargement.

Fu Manchu Lionfish

(Dendrochirus Biocellatus)

The body of the Fu Manchu Lionfish is decorated with black, white and red vertical stripes. These fish are extremely venomous.  They have spines in their pelvic, pectoral and dorsal fins that can cause serve pain if stung. Their appearance consists of red, white and black vertical stripes along their body. They are different from other lionfish because they have two appendages off their chin. These appendages look like a long moustache, giving this fish its name…Fu Manchu! It is speculated their moustache is used as a lure to bring prey close enough to strike.


They are commonly found in Pacific region, from the coast of Southeast Asia northward toward Japan and south to Australia. The Fu Manchu Lionfish habitats are clear tropical waters with prolific coral growth. The depths range for this species is 1-40 meters / 33-131 feet. During the day, the Fu Manchu Lionfish will typically stay hidden in caves or among sponges on the reef.


This lionfish exhibits an unusual behavior when it feeds. It will snap its dorsal spines and shake its head from side-to- side as it approaches its prey. This behavior may serve to distract, or possibly attract, the prey item. They are carnivorous and will prey on smaller fish species, shrimp and crabs.


When it is time for mating the males will start to create a small group. He may allow up to 8 females to join it. There will be other males that come along, wishing to take over that harem of females. The males may fight very aggressively to determine who will retain those females.

The females can release from 2,000 to 15,000 eggs during mating. The young will emerge in only about 2 days time. They are able to swim within 4 days.


Large eels, frogfish, other scorpion fish, grouper are known predators for the Fu Manchu Lionfish.