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Red velvetfish

red velvetfish
(image here)
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Gnathanacanthus goetzeei

The red velvetfish Gnathanacanthus goetzeei (Bleeker, 1855) is a marine scorpaeniform fish of the inshore waters of western and southern Australia. It is the sole member of the family Gnathanacanthidae.

This fish is red all over, and instead of scales, its skin is covered with small tubercles, thus the name. All of its fins (except caudal) are large and spined, and of its two dorsal fins, the forward one reaches to just above the large eyes. The mouth is also large, and there is also a fleshy pad just above the upper jaw. The opercle has two spines which may be concealed by skin. The fish grows to 30 cm in length.

The spines are venomous, and can inflict painful wounds.

Red velvetfish are more active at night, when they hunt crab and octopus on the sea floor.

The fish is depicted on an Australian postage stamp of 1985.

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