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.
Standard Common Name
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.
It grows to 30 cm in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
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,