The butterfly cod is one of the most spectacular looking fish a diver will ever see. In different parts of the world it is also known as the lion fish, chicken fish, and fire fish.
Local divers have a good chance of seeing a butterfly cod on almost every dive, particularly at the site of the ex-HMAS Brisbane. It displays a dazzling exhibition of feathery fins. The butterfly cod hovers effortlessly near the bottom and is not afraid of divers.
Provided they move slowly and cautiously divers can get up close to the fish and admire its dazzling display of dorsal and pectoral fins. However the dorsal spines are venomous and can cause sudden severe pain. First aid treatment is to immerse the wound in hot water and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Provided a diver does not touch or annoy the fish there is little chance the fish will make a sudden strike.