Gorgeous eco-bullies

‘Foreign’ lionfish — aquarium castoffs — have been invading American coastal waters at an alarming rate and gobbling up the natives

By Janet Raloff, 17:45 PM August 27, 2013

With dramatic red-and-cream stripes and long, broad fans of feathery spines, red lionfish are popular among people with saltwater aquariums. But if released into the wild outside of their native Asia, these beauties can become bad news for the environment. That is certainly proving true in American waters, where the poison-spined fish are spreading rapidly.

A few aquarium specimens got loose a little more than 20 years ago. Since then, the marauders have been multiplying rapidly in Atlantic wa...

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