Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Clearfin lionfish

Pterois radiata, Georges-Frédéric Cuvier, 1829

The clearfin lionfish, tailbar lionfish, radiata lionfish, or radial firefish (Pterois radiata) is a carnivorous, ray-finned fish with venomous spines that lives in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. This is the only lionfish species which has spines without any markings. It can also be recognized by the pair of horizontal white stripes on its caudal peduncle.


P. radiata grows to a length of about 24 cm, though a more usual size is 20 cm. The dorsal fin has 12 or 13 long, venomous spines and 10 to 12 soft rays. The anal fin has three spines and five or six soft rays. The large pectoral fins flare out to the side and are clear and unbanded. The other fins are also colourless. The head and body colour is reddish-brown with about six vertical dark bands of different colour on the body separated by thin white lines. Two white horizontal lines occur on the caudal peduncle which distinguishes this fish from other similar lionfishes.

Distribution and habitat

Clearfin lionfish are native to the western Indo-Pacific region. Its range extends from South Africa and the Red Sea to Indonesia, the Society Islands, the Ryukyu Islands, northern Australia, and New Caledonia. It is found on both inshore and offshore rocky reefs at depths to about 25 m. Juvenile fish are sometimes found in tide pools.


This species is mainly nocturnal. It spends the day hiding in rock crevices, in small caves, or under overhangs. It emerges at night to feed on invertebrates such as crabs and shrimps.

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Scientific classification

Pterois radiata


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Clearfin lionfish

Range Map

Distribution map of Clearfin lionfish, Pterois radiata in Thailand
  • Similan Islands
Range map of Pterois radiata in Thailand