What Is Luna Fish in the Philippines? The Luna lionfish or pterois lunulata is a scorpaenid fish that is native in tropical ocean waters in the western Pacific Ocean, particularly in the Philippines. This fish species is more popularly known as dragon’s beard fish that is a lionfish with pale-centered scales, creating a net-like design on its body. It is also characterized by its pectoral fin rays, anal and caudal fins, and spotted soft dorsal.
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What is luna fish in the Philippines? In the Philippines, it is known as lampurok in the Hiligaynon language. It lives on rocky substrates, feeds on both crustaceans and fish, and has venomous spines.
Here are more things that you may want to know about the Luna lionfish or lampurok. Let’s get into it.
Luna Lionfish Are Venomous Fish
Many people think that Luna lionfish are poisonous. For this reason, they don’t eat them. However, it is not true, but you should not drop your guard when they are around because these fish are venomous.
To simplify what is mentioned earlier, the poison must be absorbed into the body for it to be harmful, if not deadly. Venom, on the other hand, has to be injected into the bloodstream for it to cause harm. It usually involves the spines and fangs but it isn’t harmful when it is consumed, as is the case for the dragon’s beard fish.
While its dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins contain venom, consuming this fish is not deadly to a healthy human. But envenomation, or the exposure to its venom through a sting, will cause significant localized pain, swelling, blisters, and infection. Proper and prompt treatment is then required for fast recovery.
There is also the risk of severe allergic reactions to the Luna fish’s venom in susceptible people. The symptoms can result in anaphylactic shock if the victim has a severe allergy to shellfish or bee stings.
But the neuromuscular toxin in the Luna lionfish can be deactivated by cooking its flesh at 350°F for a short period. In the case of stings from its spines, the toxin can be denatured by soaking the affected area in extra-hot water. You will not die from the stings and you can eat raw Luna lionfish.
How does raw Luna lionfish in a ceviche taste? It is delicious! Just be sure that the one who prepared it removed the venomous spikes first. Check out The Whole Fish Cookbook for more ceviche recipes.
Luna Lionfish Aren’t As Aggressive As Portrayed
There’s little to no evidence that shows the Luna lionfish as being aggressive toward humans despite their venomous spikes. Their image of being aggressive likely comes from their instinctive use of their spines as a defense mechanism for various reasons. These include their natural avoidance of becoming prey and their defensive posturing against threats.
Fishers who experience being stung by a Luna lionfish likely have speared it, resulting in its defensive action. In some cases, the dying Luna lionfish violently shakes against the tip of the spear. Its spines then come close to the fisherman’s skin and, thus, stings it.
To summarize, the Luna lionfish is a beautiful fish with their vivid coloration, interesting patterns, and poisonous spikes. You can even keep them in an aquarium and admire their beauty. Just be sure to put them in with compatible fishes since they can be both prey and predator.