Red Velvetfish, <i>Gnathanacanthus goetzeei</i> Click to enlarge image
A Red Velvetfish, Gnathanacanthus goetzeei, at a depth of 13m, Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, November 1999. Image: David Muirhead
© David Muirhead

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    goetzeei
    Genus
    Gnathanacanthus
    Family
    Gnathanacanthidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

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.

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.

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.



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.

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.