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WhaL ls Lhe LowesL SallnlLy Llonsh Can 1oleraLe?
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l caughL slx llonsh ln Lhe souLhern lndlan 8lver Lagoon (2637 n, -8004 W). l found Lhe llonsh whlle snorkellng, and my uad
caughL Lhem uslng a long-handled neL. Llonsh have venomous splnes on Lhelr pecLoral and dorsal ns (Pare and Whluleld
2003). 1o avold gemng sLung, whenever handllng Lhe llonsh l used long handled uLenslls (ue1oloa eL al. 1993). l puL each
llonsh ln a 10 gallon Lank seL up aL Lhe 8lver CenLer. Lach Lank had one lLer, one rock, and cupramlne, whlch proLecLs
llonsh from lch. l le Lhe llonsh for nlne days Lo geL accllmaLed Lo Lhelr Lank. Aer LhaL, l lowered Lhe sallnlLy dally. SallnlLy
was lowered by removlng 2 gallons of waLer from each Lank and Lhen drlpplng 2 gallons of fresh waLer lnLo each aquarlum
(CrlmLh 1974). lor example, lL Look 1 hour Lo lower sallnlLy from 20 Lo 13, and lL Look 1.3 hours Lo lower sallnlLy from
13 Lo 6. Llonsh were conunuously observed as sallnlLy was belng alLered. Cnce sallnlLy sLablllzed, l recorded how each
llonsh was acung by measurlng Lhelr breaLhlng raLe, Lhelr acuons, Lhelr posluon ln Lhe Lank, and Lhelr appeuLe. l measured
Lhelr appeuLe by pumng ln each Lank Lwo llve shrlmp (Alpheldae), crabs (Sesarmldae), or dead glass mlnnows (Lngraulldae).
1o avold any conLacL wlLh Lhe llonsh, whenever l feed Lhem l used long-handled forceps Lo place Lhe glass mlnnow ln Lhe
Lank. Aer 13 mlnuLes, l recorded how much Lhey aLe, and l removed any uneaLen food. 1hroughouL Lhe experlmenL, lf any
llonsh would have losL equlllbrlum, l would have ralsed Lhe sallnlLy back Lo 23, Lo prevenL hurung Lhe llonsh.
3!%3/&$:
1hrough Lhls pro[ecL l wlll deLermlne Lhe
lowesL sallnlLy LhaL llonsh (0.)(/,1
2/3,.&*1) can LoleraLe, and wlll show how
far up Lhe LoxahaLchee 8lver llonsh wlll
aecL oLher sh.

,43/',$&)&:
l Lhlnk Lhe lowesL sallnlLy LhaL llonsh
wlll be able Lo LoleraLe wlLhouL loslng
equlllbrlum wlll be 8.

(5&'%(6'7
LsLuarles are lmporLanL because Lhey provlde shelLer
and food for [uvenlle sh. Llonsh (0.)(/,1 2/3,.&*1) are
lnvaslve, non-nauve sh LhaL are a LhreaL Lo marlne
ecosysLems, because llonsh have been shown Lo have a
dlrecL negauve eecL on [uvenlle sh populauons. MosL
llonsh sLudles have been conducLed on coral reefs. 1o
my knowledge, no sLudles have LesLed Lhe eecL of
llonsh ln esLuarles or how far lnLo esLuarles llonsh
could lnvade. 1hrough Lhls pro[ecL l wlll deLermlne Lhe
lowesL sallnlLy LhaL llonsh can LoleraLe, and show how
far up esLuarles llonsh could aecL oLher sh. l
capLured 6 llonsh from Lhe LoxahaLchee 8lver, and puL
each llonsh ln a 10-gallon Lank. lor 7 days l leL Lhe
llonsh accllmaLe Lo Lhe Lanks aL 23. 1hen for 3 of Lhe
llonsh, l lowered sallnlLy from 23 Lo 6 over a
perlod of 8 days. Lach day l checked Lhe breaLhlng raLe,
posluon, acuvlLy, and appeuLe of Lhe llonsh. When l
changed sallnlLy from 23 Lo 6 and back Lo 23, lL
dld noL aecL llonsh behavlor aL all. All 3 llonsh
survlved 24 hours ln 6 waLer and aLe voraclously. 1hls
pro[ecL showed llonsh can handle 6 waLer.
1herefore, llonsh can be expecLed Lo lnvade esLuarles
wlLh sallnlLy greaLer Lhan 6. lf llonsh lnvade esLuarles
and eaL all Lhe [uvenlle sh, Lhen esLuarles wlll no longer
acL as nurserles.

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l learned LhaL llonsh can survlve ln 6, and Lhe low
sallnlLy does noL aecL Lhelr appeuLe! CrlmLh (1974)
sLaLed osmo-regulaLory sLress was characLerlzed by
fallure Lo eaL" ln sh. My llonsh aLe every day, even
aer survlvlng 24 hours ln 6 waLer Lhey aLe
voraclously, meanlng none of Lhem were sLressed by Lhe
changes ln sallnlLy.
My pro[ecL showed llonsh can survlve ln 6. ln a eld
sLudy ln Lhe LoxahaLchee 8lver, Lhe mosL upsLream
llonsh found was ln 13 waLer (!ud eL al. 2011).
Maybe llonsh can llve ln 6 waLer, buL lL ls noL
comforLable for Lhem. Cr, maybe Lhelr preferred food ls
only found ln >13 waLer. Cr, maybe llonsh were
Lhere buL !ud eL al. could noL see Lhem ln Lhelr vlsual
surveys because waLer ln LhaL parL of Lhe rlver ls murky
(Lhere ls a loL of Lannln ln Lhe fresh waLer).
My resulLs are lmporLanL because lL shows Lhe lowesL
sallnlLy LhaL llonsh can LoleraLe, whlch shows esLuarles
are ln danger of belng lnvaded by llonsh. lf l dld
anoLher research on llonsh, l would keep lowerlng
sallnlLy unul Lhey dled.
concluslon
%$&!-'&
Table 1. Percent of lionfish that ate.





-89:;<= >?@ >? >AA ?@<?@B <>A8:8C@<D
Salinity Control Experimental
! 24 100% 52%
! 15 - 60%
! 10 - 40%
< 10 - 100%
E
F
GE
GF
HE
HF
IE
9
/9
/1
2

9
/1
0
/1
2

9
/1
1
/1
2

9
/1
2
/1
2

9
/1
3
/1
2

9
/1
4
/1
2

9
/1
5
/1
2

9
/1
6
/1
2

9
/1
7
/1
2

9
/1
8
/1
2

9
/1
9
/1
2

9
/2
0
/1
2

9
/2
1
/1
2

9
/2
2
/1
2

9
/2
3
/1
2

9
/2
4
/1
2

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69:?N9A K:OGM $PL@N8Q@:?>A K:OFM
08RSN@ G. SallnlLy ln Lhe conLrol Lank sLayed beLween
24 and 28. ln Lhe ve experlmenLal Lanks sallnlLy
sLarLed o aL 27, and Lhen we broughL lL down Lo 6,
and Lhen back up Lo 23 over 13 days.
08RSN@ H. 8esplrauon raLe for Lhe conLrol llonsh ranged
from 17 Lo 48 breaLhs per mlnuLe. 1he experlmenLal
llonsh resplrauon raLe ranged from 13 Lo 63 breaLhs per
mlnuLe. Llonsh ln 6 had breaLhlng raLes from 23 Lo 40
breaLhs per mlnuLe.
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GE
HE
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E I U W GH GF GX HG HT HV IE
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69:?N9A $PL@N8Q@:?>A
08RSN@ I. Llonsh acuvlLy was Lhe same no mauer whaL
Lhe sallnlLy. Llonsh acuvlLy was elLher resung wlLh no n
movemenL (1) or hoverlng wlLh n movemenL (2). l never
observed Lhem darung (3), oaung (4), or loslng
equlllbrlum(3).
G
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E I U W GH GF GX HG HT HV IE
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69:?N9A $PL@N8Q@:?>A
08RSN@ T. 1he conLrol llonsh was usually ln Lhe mlddle of
Lhe Lank (2). 1he experlmenLal llonsh were more oen
on Lhe bouom of Lhe Lank (1), buL Lhey were commonly
ln Lhe mlddle of Lhe Lank (2). 1he conLrol was Lhe only
one who was aL Lhe Lop of Lhe Lank (3).
G
H
I
E I U W GH GF GX HG HT HV IE
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69:?N9A $PL@N8Q@:?>A
5)5-)/*%(3,4:
Alblns MA, Plxon MA (2008) lnvaslve lndo-aclc llonsh 0.)(/,1 2/3,.&*1
reduce recrulLmenL of ALlanuc coral-reef shes. Marlne Lcology
rogress Serles 367:233-238
ue1olla L!, Srlnlvas S, WhlLaker 88, Andrews C, Pecker 8, kane AS,
8elmschuessel 8 (1993) Culdellns for Lhe Care and use of llsh ln
8esearch. lnsuLuLe for LaboraLory Anlmal 8esearch 37:139-173
CrlmLh 8W (1974) LnvlronmenL and SallnlLy 1olerance ln Lhe Cenus
4'*5'3'1. Copela 1974:310-331
Pare !A, Whluleld L (2003) An lnLegraLed AssessmenL of Lhe lnLroducuon
of Llonsh (0.)(/,1 2/3,.&*167,3)1) Lo Lhe WesLern ALlanuc Ccean. nCAA
1echnlcal MemorandumnCS nCCCS 2:1-21
!ud Z8, Layman CA, Lee !A, ArrlngLon uA (2011) 8ecenL lnvaslon of a llorlda
(uSA) LsLuarlne SysLem by Llonsh 0.)(/,1 2/3,.&*1 6 08 7,3)1. Aquauc
8lology 13:21-26
(6]"/^-$#*$.$"'&7
uavld, !acob, and 8achel arra and Ashley ArrlngLon helped nd and caLch
Lhe llonsh. ur. Cralg Layman provlded several helpful suggesuons, and he
recommended some good sources Lo read. Mellssa !ohnson, of 1he 8lver
CenLer, LaughL me how Lo LesL sallnlLy uslng a refracLomeLer, and she
provlded helpful advlce on how Lo malnLaln sh ln aquarla. 1he 8lver CenLer
provlded Lhe Lanks, lLers, and cupramlne used ln Lhls experlmenL, and
provlded a place for me Lo do Lhls experlmenL. ?ongshan Wan (SlWMu)
provlded sallnlLy daLa used ln Lhe map. My uad, ur. Albrey ArrlngLon, for
helplng me Lhlnk Lhrough many hard problems, down Lo helplng me Lhlnk
of a beuer word Lo wrlLe, he was always Lhere, helplng me.
6/"6-!&)/"7
1hls map shows where 6 ls ln Lhe dry and weL
seasons. Accordlng Lo my sLudy, llonsh can llve 3 mlles
furLher upsLream Lhan Lhey have been found.
hoLo by Albrey ArrlngLon
hoLo by Albrey ArrlngLon
hoLo by Albrey ArrlngLon
hoLo by Albrey ArrlngLon hoLo by Albrey ArrlngLon
hoLo by Albrey ArrlngLon
made by
Lauren ArrlngLon
made by Lauren ArrlngLon made by Lauren ArrlngLon
made by Lauren ArrlngLon made by Lauren ArrlngLon
made by Lauren ArrlngLon
hoLo by Albrey ArrlngLon

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