PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern Velvetfish 

Aploactisoma milesii Richardson, 1850

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XIII-XV; 12-16
Anal fin spines/rays: I; 9-13
Caudal fin rays: 13
Pectoral fin rays: 10-11
Ventral fin spines/rays: I; 2
Lateral line: 10-14

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. and Kuiter, R.H. (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A diverse group of bottom-dwelling fishes with a bony ridge, or stay across the cheek connecting the bones under the eye with the gill cover. Most species have spines projecting from bony ridges on the head and some have spines projecting from the gill cover. Many species are well-camouflaged ambush predators, often with elaborate cirri, filaments, leaf-like appendages and spiny ridges enhancing their camouflage. Scales are present or absent. Gurnards (also called searobins) have a pair of rostral spines projecting from the snout, large colourful wing-like pectoral fins and crawl over the bottom on their finger-like pelvic-fin rays. Many species have venomous spines.

Family level detail.
Small slender compressed fishes with knob-like spines on head, a long-based dorsal fin arising above eyes, with blunt fin spines; fin rays unbranched; body covered in tiny bristles, giving a velvety appearance. Well camouflaged bottom-dwelling fishes found mostly among algae, or on rocky, shelly, or rubble bottoms. Although sometimes found in estuaries and rock pools, more often encountered among prawn trawl bycatch. The fin spines are venomous.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Family:
Aploactinidae
Genus:
Aploactisoma
Species:
milesii

General Description

Body long, slender; dorsal-fin long-based, extending from above eyes to tail base; anterior dorsal-fin spines high; skin velvety. Brownish to purple with blackish spots and white marbling. To 20 cm.

Biology

Although reasonably common, the Velvetfish is rarely seen due to its excellent camouflage. The fin spines are venomous.

Habitat

Rocky, weedy and seagrass areas in bays and along the coast, in depths of 1-20 m.

Seagrass meadows

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Velvetfishes

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

20 cm

Harmful

The venomous fin spines can inflict mild to severe pain.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Southern Velvetfish, Aploactisoma milesii, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6490

Text: creative commons cc by licence