Pterois antennata – Broadbarred Firefish

Pterois antennata or Broadbarred Firefish can reach a length of about 20 cm. It is a true carnivore and eats fish, shrimp and crabs.

Pterois antennata – Broadbarred Firefish

Pterois antennata was described as early as 1787 by Bloch. The genus name Pterois is derived from the ancient Greek Pteron meaning ‘wing’. The species name ‘antennata’ means with antenna, a reference to the long ringed antennae above the eyes of this species. Their common name is Broadbarred Firefish or Spotfin Lionfish.


The Broadbarred Firefish does not grow very big. It is a somewhat stocky fish that can grow up to about 20 centimetres long. The ground colour is off-white. Dark red vertical stripes are visible on top of it. Above the eye, the red/white striped antennae are visible from which Pterois antennata owes its name.

Watch out for the spines!

Broadbarred Firefish usually spread fins wide. The tips of the fins are hard and can sting viciously. Worse, they contain poison. This poison causes severe pain that can last for a long time. So be careful when handling these fish. It is not only the dorsal fins that contain poison. The pectoral, abdominal and anal fin rays are also provided with poison. The dorsal fin is the most strongly developed.


Pterois antennata is a true carnivore that feeds on live food. Getting this species used to aquarium food is not always easy. You can try feeding them fish meat and the like on a stick or grab. If the food is still moving, they are more likely to strike.

When catching fish, Pterois antennata opens its mouth wide and sprints forward. It sucks the fish in by opening its mouth. This happens so fast that fish don’t have time to react.



John de Lange

Copyright images

Francois LibertCC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Jan (Arny) MessersmithCC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Koraalvissen en lagere dieren – Hans J. Mayland

Last Updated on 30 October 2021 by John

Additional information






Pseudomonopterus antennatus, Pteropterus antennata, Scorpaena antennata

Common names

Broadbarred Firefish, Spotfin Lionfish

First described by


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