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MARINE IMAGE OF THE MONTH

Volitans

The face of the Common Lionfish Pterois volitans.

Lionfish are extremely venomous and they seem to know it! This specimen approached me on a recent trip with Undersea Explorer while I was diving at about 10m on the North Horn of Osprey reef in the Coral Sea. He didn't seem at all like he was going to change direction, so I shot some close-ups of the face while being careful to avoid the poison dorsal spines. This image shows the facial cirri (the feather-like outgrowths) characteristic of this species, which breaks the outline of the head and confuses potential prey. The 3 small spines on the rear of the operculum (gill cover) are also visible - these are venomous like the dorsal spines. Like so much of the life we see on coral reefs, in the Lionfish evolution has sculpted a remarkable creature that mixes beautiful form and specialised function.

(Olympus C7070WZ, F4, 1/250, ISO 100, shutter priority, camera's own slow flash setting).

Image of the Month Archive

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Volitans

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Beams 1

Beams 2

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All the pictures shown here are available for sale as greeting cards, digital images, posters, or high quality canvas prints. Please see Andy's page at RedBubble for more details.

A wide selection of Andy's other photographs are also available from Bigprints Sydney Studios and Essense Imaging. Please visit their website to view the images and order online.

 


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