A study published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series journal shows that the invasive red lionfish (Pterois volitans) blow directed jets of water at prey fish to disorient them. These jets may overwhelm the target’s lateral line, part of a fish’s nervous system that detects vibrations and warns of approaching objects and prey often end up facing the hungry lionfish, increasing the chances of head-first strikes and lowering the risk of the lionfish getting stuck by backwards-facing spines. The research team first observed this behavior while monitoring lionfish populations off Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas. It is interesting to note that less lionfish use this technique in the Atlantic than in the Pacific, possibly emphasizing that the Atlantic fishes are easier to catch due to them being less habituated to the predators.
The full journal paper available to download as a free pdf.