Cuba Headlines

Cuba News, Breaking News, Articles and Daily Information

A rarity in the Caribbean !: A scorpionfish captured in Santiago de Cuba
A scorpionfish, maybe the first of its kind ever captured in Cuba , shares a fish tank with a small lobster at the Baconao Acuarium, located at 27 kilometres east of the city of Santiago de Cuba .

The specimen, captured on June 27, is dun with white stripes and 9.5 cm long, characteristics that confirm it is a young specimen.

"I have heard about the existence of this specimen in Santiago Bay , which is very rare since there are no reports of its presence in the Caribbean Sea ," said biologist Sara Romero Gonzalez, a Baconao Aquarium specialist, speaking with the Sierra Maestra newspaper.

The scorpionfish, also known as a butterflyfish or lionfish, was found by sheer chance in a sandy area under a stone nine kilometres deep and thirty kilometres from the coast.

"When it felt divers were near, it spread its fins and uncovered itself," said the specialist on marine fauna.

"Then it was captured with two cone nets, one small and the other large; this was done very carefully because this specimen is highly poisonous."

Can it survive in captivity?

"We are keeping it under ideal conditions, with a constant circulation of water, aeration, stable temperature - from 27 to 28 degrees centigrade."

What will happen to it?

"We will keep it to exhibit it to the public".

What conditions made possible its appearance in these waters?

"The scorpionfish lives in the Indo-Pacific area. It could have been carried by the currents, even in its embryonic stage. Some eggs could have reached our coasts stuck on the hull of some ship, but all these possibilities are just speculations."

Is there a possibility of finding other specimens of this kind on our continental shelf?

"I don't dismiss the possibility."

The scorpionfish decorates the underwater world and aquariums in many parts of the world. The specimen is a member of the Scorpaenidae family, along with other fish that have spines and are poisonous. In its dorsal fin it has small glands with a potent toxin used for its defense.

The specimen is a predator and feeds on smaller fish using the spines to paralyze its victims before gulping them down.

Scorpionfish swim very well but do not travel long distances and live at ease in coral reefs and rocky coastal zones of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Source: By Jorge Garcia Orce, Sierra Maestra

Related News