This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Non-native lionfish have been widely recorded throughout the western Atlantic on both shallow and mesophotic reefs, where they have been linked to declines in reef health. In this study we report the first lionfish observations from the deep sea (>200 m) in Bermuda and Roatan, Honduras, with lionfish observed to a maximum depth of 304 m off the Bermuda platform, and 250 m off West End, Roatan. Placed in the context of other deeper lionfish observations and records, our results imply that lionfish may be found more widely in the 200-300 m depth range of the upper bathyal zone across the western Atlantic, but currently are under sampled compared to shallow habitats. We highlight the need for considering deep-sea lionfish populations in future invasive lionfish management.