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  • Strategy

Stripes serve as long-distance camouflage: lionfish


Lionfish / Christian Me.. / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

The stripes on a lionfish serve as camouflage by breaking up the outline of the fish when viewed from afar.

"The strange appearance of the lionfish…is caused by its highly divided dorsal and pectoral fins. At close range its striking colours are a warning to would-be predators that it is poisonous: both these groups of fins can inject poison. The striped pattern also serves to break up the outline of the fish when viewed from a distance, a form of camouflage. The zebra firefish…has a similar pattern, and its dorsal spines also contain venom. The membranes of its pectoral fins extend almost to the tips, giving the appearance of a pair of wings." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:187)
About the inspiring organism
Common name: Lionfish

Learn more at
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Camouflage techniques for communication towers and wind turbines, camouflage for high-security military sites, agricultural applications to deter or control pests.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Urban planning, utilities, military, agriculture

Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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over 6 years ago
Thanks to Duarte Miguel Prazeres for finding and uploading this photo.
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