Animal Species:Red Velvetfish, Gnathanacanthus goetzeei (Bleeker, 1855)

The Red Velvetfish has a compressed body that is covered with low papillae that give the skin a velvety texture. It has a deeply divided dorsal fin. The spines of the first dorsal are poisonous. The species can be brown, red, or yellowish. Juveniles are translucent with red lines and spots.

Red Velvetfish, Gnathanacanthus goetzeei

David Muirhead © David Muirhead

Standard Common Name

Red Velvetfish

Identification

The Red Velvetfish has a compressed body that is covered with low papillae that give the skin a velvety texture. It has a deeply divided dorsal fin. The spines of the first dorsal are poisonous.

The species can be brown, red, or yellowish. Juveniles are translucent with red lines and spots.

The Red Velvetfish is the only species in the family Gnathanacanthidae.

Size range

It grows to 30 cm in length.

Distribution

It is endemic to Australia, occurring from southern Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia to south-western Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Gnathanacanthus goetzeei

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Red Velvetfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Red Velvetfish is a nocturnal species that is rarely seen during the day, but may be relatively common in some areas.

Classification

Species:
goetzeei
Genus:
Gnathanacanthus
Family:
Gnathanacanthidae
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Gomon, M.F. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Red Velvetfish, Gnathanacanthus goetzeei, Gnathanacanthidae, compressed body, low papillae, velvet texture, poisonous spines, brown, red, yellowish, juveniles translucent, 10 cm - 30 cm, nocturnal species, endemic to Australia, marine,