Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish: Venomous

Dendrochirus brachypterus


(2 Reviews)

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish: Venomous

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish: Venomous

Dendrochirus brachypterus


(2 Reviews)

Free Shipping

With $199.00 or more in Marine Life.
More details...

Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallons
Max Size: 6 inches

The Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish, Dendrochirus brachypterus, also known as the Dwarf Lionfish, Shortfin Turkeyfish or Shortfin Lionfish, features a beautifully striped body with typical lionfish frills and fins designed to blend in with its surroundings. Though it is a slow swimmer, it is still capable of eating any small fish and invert that fits into its mouth, so be very careful when deciding what tank mates to put with it. The Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish is often a solitary animal and should really be kept in a tank with other aggressive fishes. They thrive with plenty of live rock hiding places. The Fuzzy Dwarf Lion is venomous. Some of the spines on its dorsal fin can inflict irritation similar to a bee's sting if handled, so be very careful. Feeding the Fuzzy Dwarf Lion should not be done by hand. They will eat live and frozen meaty foods including shrimp, clams, scallops, fish, and krill. The Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish has actually been said to be responsive to its owners which can add another dimension of fun and connectivity to caring for it. 



The Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish, scientifically known as Dendrochirus brachypterus, is a captivating addition to saltwater marine aquariums. Below is a comprehensive guide covering various aspects of keeping this species, from habitat requirements to tank compatibility.

Habitat of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish is commonly found in coral reefs, rocky crevices, and lagoons. Their natural habitat consists of ample hiding spots where they can ambush prey.

Reef Compatibility of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

The Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish is not considered reef-safe as they tend to prey on smaller fish and invertebrates. Therefore, it is advisable to house them in fish-only aquariums or carefully planned reef tanks with larger, less vulnerable tank mates.

Size and Lifespan of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

These lionfish typically reach a size of around 6 inches (15 cm) in captivity. They can live for up to 10 years with proper care, making them a long-term commitment for marine enthusiasts.

Diet of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish in Captivity

In captivity, the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish should be fed a diet primarily of meaty foods such as shrimp, squid, and fish fillets. They are carnivorous predators and readily accept frozen or live foods. It is essential to ensure a varied diet to meet their nutritional needs adequately.

Aquaculture and Availability of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

While some lionfish species are successfully aquacultured, the availability of aquacultured Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish may vary. However, they are commonly available through reputable marine fish suppliers and retailers.

Compatibility of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish with Other Fish and Invertebrates

Due to their predatory nature, Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish are best kept with larger, non-aggressive tank mates. Suitable companions include Hawkfish, Angelfish, Groupers, and larger Wrasses. However, when selecting tank mates, caution should be exercised to prevent potential conflicts.

Sexual Dimorphism of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

Sexual dimorphism in Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish is minimal, with males and females exhibiting similar external characteristics. Therefore, visual differentiation between sexes is challenging.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes in the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

As juveniles, Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish display vibrant coloration with intricate patterns. Their coloration may become darker as they mature, with distinct markings and elongated fins, enhancing their camouflage abilities.

Temperament of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish are generally peaceful but can become aggressive towards smaller tank mates they perceive as prey. While they may appear docile, they are skilled predators capable of capturing unsuspecting fish with their venomous spines.

Tank Requirements for the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank size of at least 30 gallons is recommended. Larger tanks provide ample swimming space and allow for the incorporation of suitable tank mates. Providing ample hiding spots and rock formations mimicking their natural habitat is crucial for their comfort and security.
Water Conditions:

  • pH: 8.1 - 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.020 - 1.025
  • Water Temperature: 72°F - 78°F (22°C - 26°C)
  • Water Flow: Moderate to low flow is preferable, as excessive water movement may stress the fish.

Common Names of the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

Other names for Dendrochirus brachypterus include Shortfin Lionfish and Fuzzy Lionfish.

Five Compatible Tank Mates for the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish

Why Purchase the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish from Saltwaterfish.com

Saltwaterfish.com offers a wide selection of high-quality marine fish, including Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish, sourced from reputable suppliers. With a commitment to sustainable practices and excellent customer service, purchasing from Saltwaterfish.com ensures you receive healthy specimens and ongoing support for your marine aquarium endeavors.

In conclusion, the Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish is a captivating species suitable for marine enthusiasts with the proper knowledge and dedication to their care. By adhering to their requirements and selecting compatible tank mates, aquarists can enjoy the beauty and intrigue these fascinating creatures bring to their saltwater aquariums.

Tiny but beautiful and eating frozen foods well.


Reviewed by: Carrie Anderson on April 4, 2024

This is one of my favorite fish. This fish will recognize his owner. He’s so sweet and loves feeder shrimp.


Reviewed by: Sonya on Jan. 24, 2021

Join the club! Get our best deals first!

Be The First To Hear About Our Exclusive Deals & Latest Updates!