According to a study undertaken by Lev Fishelson of TelAviv University, the lionfish, Pterois volitans, found in the Red Sea has changed in appearance over the past 40 years and a new form has evolved.
Rather than the normal ray-like supraocular tentacles, which appear just above the eyes of the lionfish (see above picture), the new form has evolved feather-like tentacles where one or both have a sharply defined black eye spot with a white ring around it.
In adults, these tentacles are much broader at the tips than the ray-like tentacles of most volitans, and look rather like a peacock's feather. They can measure up to 5cm in length and over 1cm in width at the tip.
PS. Thank you to all those who sent in their own photos of the lionfish in response to the article, taken in a variety of dive sites. We will be featuring these in the June newsletter!