Darkfin Velvetfish

Erisphex Aniarus
Darkfin Velvetfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Erisphex Aniarus
Other names Darkfinned Velvetfish, Marbled Waspfish
Size Up to 6 cm (2.36 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal & offshore waters amongst rocky & coral reef areas
Depth Range 30 - 280 (918 ft)
Darkfin Velvetfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Darkfin Velvetfish are a deeper water fish found along the coast of northern and eastern Australia. Including Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and southern Queensland.
  • They have thick, velvety skin and a lateral line with knobs and filaments. Its coloration varies from grey to cream or brown, often with purplish mottling, enabling effective camouflage. As a result, this species is rarely spotted in the wild.
  • They are carnivores, feeding primarily on benthic invertebrates.
  • Darkfin Velvetfish have sharp spines with venom glands at the base of their anal fin spine.
  • Due to their elusive nature, there is limited information on their breeding behaviours and lifespan.
Species Interaction

Elusive Species

Little is known about the Darkfin Velvetfish due to its small size and deep-sea environment. Encounters with this fish is limited to bycatch from deep-sea trollers or deep water scientific expeditions.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Aploactinidae

Genus: Erisphex

Species: Erisphex Aniarus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Darkfin Velvetfish has not specifically been assessed or listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It’s important to note that conservation status assessments can change over time due to new data and research.

Elusive / Overlooked Species

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Outer reef, Caves, Deepsea

Danger: Dorsal and Pectoral Spine

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