Newest non-native fish found in Florida

A fish that typically calls the Pacific Ocean home has been found off the coast of Florida for the first time, the state's newest non-native marine species.

A diver saw the blotched foxface, a species of rabbitfish, off of Dania Beach, according to a release from the U.S. Geological Survey. The fish was caught within 24 hours of its report thanks to a joint effort by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation and USGS.

Scientists say that like the lionfish, the rabbitfish is venomous and has a voracious appetite. But, the rabbitfish prefers marine vegetation like seaweeds, algae, and seagrasses.

The rabbitfish -- and the lionfish -- were likely introduced to Florida waters through aquarium releases, according to the release.


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