Common Veilfin

Metavelifer Multiradiatus
Common Veilfin - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Metavelifer Multiradiatus
Other names Spinyfin Velifer, Veilfin
Size Up to 15 cm (6 in)
Weight Under .50 kg (1.10 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst rocky areas & reefs on seamounts
Depth Range 10 - 30 m (98 ft)
Common Veilfin Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Common Veilfin or Spinyfin Velifer as they are also known as, are commonly found along the southern coast of Australia, particularly in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia. They are often encountered in rocky reef environments.
  • They are a small fish with a distinctive appearance, having spiny dorsal fins, which give them their common name. They have a silvery to light grey body with a noticeable lateral line running along their sides.
  • Common Veilfin are omnivorous and feed on a variety of small prey, including zooplankton, small crustaceans, and algae.
  • They are known to be somewhat territorial, often defending their chosen crevices or small territories on the reef.
  • Predators of the Common Veilfin includes larger fish such as snapper and gropers, as well as various seabirds.
  • These fish do have sharp spines on their dorsal fins as a defence mechanism to deter potential predators.
  • These fish are known to breed during the warmer months, usually in the spring and summer. They engage in external fertilisation, where females release eggs and males release sperm into the water, allowing fertilisation to occur outside their bodies.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 3 – 4 years.
Species Interaction

Snorkeling & Diving

Common Veilfin can be observed by snorkelers and divers in their natural habitat. They are typically found in rocky crevices and among coral formations, making them somewhat challenging to spot. However, their striking spiny dorsal fins make them distinctive once located.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Veliferidae

Genus: Metavelifer

Species: Metavelifer multiradiatus

Conservation Status

The Common Veilfin does not have a specific conservation status in Australia, but like all marine species, they benefit from marine protected areas and sustainable fishing practices.

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Caves, Lagoon

Danger: None

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