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214. A small gathering of upside down swimming Spotfin Lionfish (Pterois antennata)


A group of Spotfin Lionfish (Pterois antennata) gathers together in a small cavern-like overhang, waiting for the sun to set so that the nocturnal hunt can begin. Spotfin Lionfish are nocturnal hunters of various species of crustaceans and small fish. Like all lionfish species, they have a voracious appetite and won't refrain from eating their own juveniles. Cannibalism towards their smaller versions is very common among different fish species. During daytime hours, they spend their time hiding from larger predators like sharks in crevices, under ledges, and in small caverns and overhangs, as captured in this short underwater videoclip.

Similar to many cave-dwelling fish, these Spotfin Lionfish exhibit a behaviour scientifically called "Ventral Substrate Response" or, in plain language, "swimming upside down." The behaviour of swimming upside down in confined spaces like caves and caverns and its reasons are explained in more detail in our vlog post number 21 (see link below).

The Spotfin Lionfish is characterised by beautiful hand-fan-like pectoral fins with a spotted semi-transparent membrane that holds extremely long white-coloured fin rays. Above each eye, there are very long bristle-like projections called cirri or antennae. For an in-depth description of cirri, please visit our vlog post 197 (Barbels and cirri). Another characteristic is the dark diagonal line that crosses the fish's eye.

These medium-sized lionfish can reach a maximum length of 20cm/8inch but are mostly encountered in a slightly smaller size at 17cm/9inch or so. They are solitary fish that are sometimes found in small groups when breeding. They occur on the reefs and lagoons of the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region from Africa’s eastern coastline to the somewhat cooler waters of New Zealand and remote islands of French Polynesia.

Unfortunately, they are a very common fish in the international aquarium trade.


When it comes to incorporating your logo or signature into a videoclip or film, most people and companies will always adhere to the same signature or logo parameters. Companies like it when their logos are uniform, always the same colour and style because it’s part of their brand recognition. Ikea is always yellow on a blue background, Coca-Cola is always white on a red background, etc… I personally think that as an underwater videographer, you’re more an artist than a brand, and I prefer to change Beyond Scuba’s logo colour when it’s appropriate to do so. I always try to match the logo’s colour with the subject, using a colour that is well represented in the video. In this particular short underwater videoclip, I chose to use the pink that was present in the lionfish’s stripes. Claude Monet, the famous French impressionistic painter used to sign his masterpieces with a pigment that was present on his palette and used in its painting that day. I do, however, never change the logo’s look or style. Changing the colour of the logo to better match the footage is, for me, a form of artistic freedom.

Filming location:

This short underwater videoclip has been filmed in Mauritius 🇲🇺

More about this topic:

For an other in-depth description about the "Ventral Substrate Response" or "swimming upside down" please go to vlog post 21 or click following link https://www.beyondscuba.com/post/upside-down-lionfish

For an in-depth description of barbels and cirri, please visit our vlog post 197 or click following link https://www.beyondscuba.com/post/barbels-and-cirri

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