It has been found that mature female lionfish on average reproduce every 3 to 4 days. The female lionfish spawns between 25,000-30,000 eggs each time. That works out to about 2,000,000 eggs per year!
The eggs produced by the female lionfish contain a toxic coating around the eggs. This makes the eggs unable to be eaten by other species. Therefore, the eggs themselves do not enter the food chain and won’t be destroyed before hatching.
This means that in good conditions, a single lionfish can produce 2,000,000 new lionfish per year. This means lionfish populations can increase exponentially. With all the lionfish out there you have to think that 50% are females and they reach maturity within a year – that’s a lot of hungry lionfish populating our reefs!
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