Twinspot Lionfish, Dendrochirus biocellatus (Fowler 1938)

Other Names: Twospot Turkeyfish

A Twinspot Lionfish, Dendrochirus biocellatus, at Bunaken island, Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, November 2011. Source: Rob, BBM Explorer / Flickr / License: CC by Attribution-NoDerivatives

A reddish-brown lionfish with a pair (sometimes three) of large black ocelli on the soft dorsal fin, three pink to yellowish bars on sides, pale and brown bands on pectoral fins, and a very long tentacle in front of the eye.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Dendrochirus biocellatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Twinspot Lionfish, Dendrochirus biocellatus (Fowler 1938)

More Info


Scott Reef, Western Australia, Ashmore and Hibernia reefs, Timor Sea, and Christmas Island, Indian Ocean.
Inhabits areas of rich coral growth on clear reefs, usually sheltering in caves and on ledges during the day.


Dorsal fin XIII, 9; Anal fin III, 5; Pectoral fin 20-21; Longitudinal scale series 48-51.
Membranes of spinous dorsal fin deeply incised; pectoral fins large, wing-like, upper rays fully connected by membranes, lower rays unbranched and free of membranes distally. Lachrimal tentacle elongate, more than twice eye diameter. 


Feeds mostly at night on small fishes and crustaceans.

Species Citation

Nemapterois biocellatus Fowler 1938, Proc. U. S. Natl Mus. 85(3032): 81, fig. 36. Type locality: Albatross station D.15136, off Jolo Light, Philippines, 22 fathoms [6°04´20"N, 120°59´20"E].


Dianne J. Bray


Twinspot Lionfish, Dendrochirus biocellatus (Fowler 1938)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Fowler, H.W. 1938. Descriptions of new fishes obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross, chiefly in Philippine seas and adjacent waters. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 85(3032): 31-135 figs 6-61

Fricke, R., Kulbicki, M. & Wantiez, L. 2011. Checklist of the fishes of New Caledonia, and their distribution in the Southwest Pacific Ocean (Pisces). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie) Neue Serie 4: 341-463.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian reef fishes: a comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. 3rd ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 330 pp.

Poss, S.G. 1999. Families Scorpaenidae, Caracanthidae, Aploactinidae. pp. 2291-2358 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287095

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:1-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:13 cm TL

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