Southern Velvetfish,  Aploactisoma milesii Click to enlarge image
A Southern Velvetfish at a depth of 3.5 m, Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, 19 October 2012. Image: Steve Smith
© Steve Smith

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    milesii
    Genus
    Aploactisoma
    Family
    Aploactinidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 23 cm in length.

Introduction

The Southern Velvetfish lives between rocks and sponges or partially buried in the sand in coastal bays and estuaries of temperate Australia. Its camouflage, colouration and body form means it is seen infrequently.

Identification

The Southern Velvetfish has thick skin and a velvet-like appearance. The lateral line along the side of the body has variously developed knobs and filaments. The species has highly variable colour from grey to cream or brown, with purplish mottling. This camouflage colouration and body form mean the species is seen infrequently.

The long dorsal fin originates just before the eye and runs along the back, with only a small gap before the rounded caudal fin. The pectoral fin is long, rounded and incised between the thickened upper rays.

Habitat

The species is occasionally seen between rocks and sponges or partially buried in the sand that surrounds rocks and algae. It is found in depths of 3 m to 30 m in protected waters such as coastal bays and estuaries.

Distribution

The Southern Velvetfish is recorded in Australia's temperate waters from Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, south to Tasmania and west to Shark Bay, Western Australia.

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



References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Poss, S.G. in Gomon, M.F, C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.