Southern Velvetfish

Aploactisoma Milesii
Southern Velvetfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Aploactisoma Milesii
Other names Little Velvetfish, Velvetfish
Size Up to 23 cm (9 in)
Weight Up to .20 kg (.44 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, estuaries, bays & harbours amongst reefs rich with sponges, algae & seagrass beds
Depth Range 3 - 30 (98 ft)
Southern Velvetfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Southern Velvetfish is native to Australian waters along the southern coasts of the country. Including Shark Bay in Western Australia, parts of South Australia, Victoria and northern areas of Tasmania.
  • The Southern Velvetfish features a mottled, velvety body in shades of brown, grey, and red, with small eyes and venomous fin spines, adeptly camouflaging it within its rocky, marine habitat.
  • They are carnivores, with their diet mainly consists of small crustaceans, including shrimp.
  • Southern Velvetfish have venomous fin spines, which serve as a defence mechanism.
  • In addition to their camouflage appearance, they have a swimming style that mimics floating seaweed, undulating side to side, which aids their stealth in the underwater environment.
  • Surprisingly, much about their life history remains a mystery, including their lifespan and breeding habits.
Species Interaction

Snorkeling & Diving, Elusive Species

Due to the impressive camouflage and hiding abilities the Southern Velvetfish, it is rarely seen. They are however occasionally seen by divers or snorkelers with a keen eye and patience.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Scorpaeniformes

Family: Aploactinidae

Genus: Aploactisoma

Species: Aploactisoma Milesii

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Southern 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.

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Caves, Seagrass Beds

Danger: Venomous Spines

Elusive / Overlooked Species

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner reef, Outer reef, Caves

Danger: Dorsal and Pectoral Spine

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