Lionfish boast an array of colorful, featherlike quills. Their color and patterns help lionfish to camouflage with the reef, and they may be difficult to spot. Most lionfish injuries in the Indo-Pacific are caused by inadvertent contact with a well-camouflaged fish. In the Atlantic, increasing numbers of divers attempt to remove invasive lionfish from the reef because they are disrupting the food chain. A lionfish hunter may accidentally come into contact with the painful sting of the lionfish as he tries to remove it.
As with many other spiny fish species, lionfish spines release a powerful neurotoxin when touched. The sting of a lionfish is excruciatingly painful, and may lead to severe allergic reactions. Avoid contact with lionfish, and all other aquatic life. Train to hunt lionfish with an experienced lionfish hunter in order to learn safe hunting and removal techniques.