Highfin Velvetfish

Cocotropus Altipinnis
Highfin Velvetfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Cocotropus Altipinnis
Family Velvetfish / Aploactinidae
Size Up to 4 cm (1.57 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst rocky areas & reef
Depth Range 1 - 10 m (33 ft)
Highfin Velvetfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Highfin Velvetfish is a unique species exclusively found around Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea of the coast of New South Wales.
  • This species features different colourations based on the reefs and rocks they inhabit. Their colours can range from oranges, reds, browns combined to solid colours.
  • They are carnivores, feeding primarily on benthic invertebrates.
  • Its specific name, “altipinnis,” comes from the Latin “alti-” (meaning elongate) and “pinnis” (meaning fin), likely referring to the tall anterior dorsal-fin spines.
  • Due to their elusive nature, there is limited information on their breeding behaviours and lifespan.

Elusive / Overlooked Species

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner reef, Outer reef, Caves

Danger: Dorsal and Pectoral Spine

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